Stray hippo shot dead in Indian Ocean
29 July 2013, 12:46
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers shot dead a hippo that strayed from the Sabaki River Delta in Kilifi County to the Silversands Beach on Sunday.
Hotel managers were forced to warn their guests against venturing into the popular beach adjacent to some popular tourist class hotels in Malindi and Malindi Marine Park.
It took the armed KWS rangers under the command of the officer in charge, Armstrong Ngeywa, more than six hours to trace the hippo in the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean where it kept changing positions forcing the rangers to shoot several times.
At one point, the hippo evaded the rangers who had almost closed in on it in a deep section of the waters of the Ocean near the Scorpio Villas beach shorelines only for it to re-emerge more than 500 nautical metres away.
Malindi fisherman Ahmed Ali alerted the rangers on the hippo’s position as he sailed near the submerged animal.
The rangers quickly sailed to the area the canoe fisherman had spotted the hippo just in time then two rangers shot at it killing it instantly.
Members of the public kept watch for more than six hours waiting for the meat. They had their last smile after getting at least five kilograms of hippo meat each.
An early morning fitness and jogging enthusiast admitted to having come face to face with the mature hippopotamus which could have been pushed into the Indian Ocean by strong tidal waves after entering the sea through the Sabaki River Delta or walked along the beach on the south.
Malindi based Italian government adviser on foreigners living in Malindi Roberto Macri said he had received information that a huge hippopotamus was walking along the Silversands Beach from Italian residents who usually walk along the beach at dawn every day for fitness purposes.
“I received information from some Italian joggers that a hippo was strolling along the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean who also indicated that the KWS rangers had also arrived at the scene and started pursuing the mammal,” noted Macri.
Hundreds of tourists and members of the public swimming at the Silversands Beach in Malindi were forced to keep off the Indian Ocean as fears grew that the animal could attack revelers.
But as the armed KWS rangers struggled through the rough waters of the Indian Ocean to reach the hippo and shot it, hundreds of tourists and Malindi residents poured into the beach to see the beast.
However, the tourists and members of the public eventually got disappointed upon realising that they could not see the hippo because it was killed inside the Ocean and had to be towed to the Malindi Marine park located some 20 miles away where it was slaughtered and distributed to the members of the public.
Hundreds of members of the public including women and children walked some five kilometers to the marine park seeking permission to access the mammal which had been tied to the KWS patrol boat but still remained submerged into the waters of the Indian Ocean for several hours.
A senior KWS officer not allowed to talk to the Press explained that the rangers decided to tow the body of the mammal to the Marine to avoid attracting a commission and violence in front of tourists if the members of the public decided to share the meat.
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