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Marauding elephants roaming in Isiolo town have badly injured a 20-year-old man Tuesday morning. The two jumbos are believed to have sneaked from Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
The incident caused fear and panic in the town as some traders who were opening their shops at the time hurriedly locked the doors while a majority of residents ran for safety.
From a distance, a few residents were seen recording videos of the jumbos that were walking along the Isiolo-Moyale highway.
Before invading the town, the elephants had damaged a perimeter wall of one of the boarding secondary schools in the town. Surprisingly, the animals did not cause any destruction in the town that has numerous shops and stalls and is always full of activity.
But it was while leaving the town that the non-violent animals were provoked by Mr Nicholas Morun, who attempted to chase them away. “We had warned him against going so close to the jumbos but he would not listen. He kept insisting they were harmless before he started chasing them,” one of the residents said.
Isiolo County Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Hussein Mohammud said the man sustained injuries on his head, ribs and knees and was in stable condition. “He is stable and being monitored by the doctors,” Mr Mohammud told Nation.Africa.
Kenya Wildlife Service Senior Warden Mohammud Madera said KWS officers managed to drive the wild animals back to the reserve, preventing further destruction. With the persistent drought, he said, cases of human-wildlife conflict could rise in the coming months due to reduced pasture.
A man was last week killed by stray elephants in Ngaremara Ward. The animals had that sneaked from the game reserve. “The deployment of officers along the routes will ensure the attack cases are reduced,” Mr Madera said.
The official appealed to residents to always alert authorities whenever they spot the jumbos so that they are immediately driven back to the parks.