LAIKIPIA, Kenya, July 31 – A 42 year-old woman is nursing serious injuries after she was attacked by an elephant within Rumuruti Forest in Laikipia West District.
Lydia Wanjiku was Wednesday evening admitted to the Nyahururu District Hospital with chest and head injuries she sustained after the afternoon jumbo attack near Sironi.
The mother of 10 was in the company of 20 other women fetching firewood in the forest when the incident occurred.
Medical officers at the hospital said the victim was stable and responding well to treatment.
According to Margaret Nyamurwa who was with the victim at the time of the attack, they managed to escape death by a whisker as the jumbos approached them where they were gathering firewood.
She recounted how they had ignored the elephant trumpets, saying they believed the wild animals were far from them and did not see any cause for alarm.
However, she said within no time they heard the animals approaching them very fast and they escaped at a break neck speed scampering for safety.
She said her colleague was held by one of the jumbos by its trunk, swung twice before being hurled into a bush.
Her husband John Nderitu Wahome narrated how he was called from his place of work and informed that his wife survived the elephant attack in the forest.
He regretted that marauding elephants have wrecked havoc and were invading nearby farms with impunity.
He called on KWS officers to come to their rescue and ensure that the animals are well protected in their habitat.
Laikipia County Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) leader Irene Wachuka who visited the victim at the hospital called on the government to intervene in addressing the perennial human-wildlife conflict in the region.
She lamented that cases of such conflicts were rising by the day and hence there was a dire need to erect a perimeter fence to keep the wild animals at bay.
She regretted that the incident occurred barely a day after a family of six was attacked by a stray hyena within Rumuruti area leaving them with serious injuries.
The victims are still admitted to the Nyahururu District hospital according to medical officers at the health facility.
The family of six and a neighbour were attacked and mauled by a stray hyena at their home in Mifugo village in Laikipia West district.
Meanwhile while speaking separately to Capital FM News, Nyahururu Senior Game Warden Wellington Gathungu said challenges of human-wildlife in the area were rampant and emphasised the need for communities living around the forests to team up with the KWS in order to help in mitigating the challenges.
He said the department has been holding several meetings with the local communities and schools to discuss ways of addressing the menace.
Gathungu said challenges of logging and poaching were on the rise in the area noting that this war cannot be won if the community does not play an active role in reducing the problem.
The KWS official encouraged residents to embrace peaceful coexistence with the animals.