Kenya: Elephant Kills Boy, 13, in Mwingi Sparking Protests


Daily Nation

Date Published

Enraged Kitui residents barricaded the Mwingi-Kyuso road after a stray elephant killed a boy on Saturday morning, causing a traffic snarl-up.

The 13-year-old Standard Eight pupil was trampled by an elephant while untying a donkey in their homestead in Gai village.

Motorists were forced to look for alternative routes after the angry residents barricaded the busy road causing traffic snarl-up that lasted more than six hours.

The protesters barricaded the road using large tree branches as they chanted slogans demanding action from the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) which they accused of laxity.

“The elephant has been roaming in the area since Thursday and KWS has done nothing to contain it. An innocent boy has been killed and we are seeing no action from the government,” Mr Peter Kimanzi told the Nation on phone.

Efforts by Kyuso deputy county commissioner Elias Kithaura and the area police boss Mr Stephen Koech to clear the road and disperse the demonstrators hit a snag after they were jeered by the angry mob.

It took the intervention of the Mwingi North MP John Munuve who arrived at the site about noon to pacify the villagers.

Mr Munuve condemned the incident and demanded KWS compensate the family of the teenager as well as cater for burial expenses.

The killer elephant has since been gunned down by KWS officers from the Kora National Park and Mwingi North Game Reserve.

“We have only killed one elephant after it killed a boy at Gai. That’s the only elephant which was within our area,” said Paul Omondi, the warder in charge at Kora National Park.

The body of the Gai Primary School pupil has been transported to Mwingi Level IV Hospital mortuary.

Last week, five elephants allegedly strayed out of Tsavo East National Park and two of them were on Wednesday seen wandering in the bushes at Nuu area in Mwingi East Constituency.