16 July 2018

Kenya: Stray Lions Kill 5 Cows in Chawia, Taita Taveta

Residents of Chawia ward in Mwatate, Taita Taveta County have called on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to drive out stray lions that have so far killed five cows.

Led by Chawia ward representative Justine Juma, the residents said their lives are in danger after an unknown number of lions strayed from Tsavo National Park.

The residents have accused KWS of failing to take quick measures to capture the lions that have been terrorising residents in Chawia, Ngerenyi and Lushangonyi villages.

They said KWS officers have only put traps deep inside Chawia forest.

"We told them to search for the lions which we heard roaring in the forest, but instead they fired at a distance. We keep losing our livestock every night," said Mr Juma.

Mr Gasper Mwaludindi, a Lushangonyi resident who lost a cow valued at Sh40 000.

Ngerenyi assistant chief Festo Nyangala said villagers are paralysed by fear.

FOOTPRINTS

Mr Nyangala said they had spotted the lion's footprints and warned the locals to remain vigilant.

"I have asked my village elders to tell people to be careful. We don't know where these animals are hiding so we must warn our people about the impending danger," he said.

The residents say schoolgoing children are now forced to report late and go home early, with several parents escorting their young ones to school.

KWS is yet again on the spot for failing to address increased incidents of human-wildlife conflict in the area.

A few weeks ago a pride of lions invaded Mwaktau village in Mwatate Sub County, killing over 200 cows, goats and donkeys.

Tsavo Assistant Director George Osuri said officers were camping near the villages to locate the lions and eventually capture them.

He said they were yet to establish the number of the lions on the loose.

"We are really trying our best. We promise residents that we will soon be able to get the lions," he said.

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