, NYAHURURU, Kenya, Apr 13 – The fact that a hippopotamus fell into a pit latrine did not deter residents of a village in Nyahururu from laying in wait for a chance to slaughter it for meat.
The residents of Maina village spent the entire day hoping the animal would make its way out of the latrine but gave up in the night, only for the animal to escape.
Officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service and Administration Police made frantic efforts to save the animal which was submerged in the filth by ensuing it could breathe.
A crowd of men armed with machetes and women with babies strapped on their backs braved heavy rain hopping that an opportunity would arise for them to kill the animal and share the meat.
“We have waited for long for this hippo to come out but we are now giving up” said a resident adding “we have already prepared water for ugali and we are now waiting for this meat.”
Another resident identified as David Macharia was quoted saying they wanted KWS personnel to allow them to feast on the animal.
“We want the KWS not to take away this meat. We have already prepared ugali… even if it has fallen into the toilet we will clean it… it has not drunk the dirty water”, he said.
Macharia said the wild animals were straying from the Manguo Hippo Sanctuary some six kilometres away saying they were a threat to the community.
He called on the government to move in and contain the animals in their territory.
Laikipia District Warden Aggrey Maumo visited the scene and approached officials from a Chinese Road construction firm to help evacuate the animal.
It miraculously saved itself when residents left and the officers gave it a break.
The hippos regularly roam from their habitat in search of pasture during the night.
A month ago, another hippo fell in a pit near River Ewaso Nyiro but was saved by the same Chinese Company.