NYAHURURU, Kenya, Dec 5 – Christmas appeared to have come early for residents of Kiriita village in Nyandarua County as they scrambled for wild meat from an elephant that died in the locality.
It was a free for all after the villagers raided the carcass with machetes and axes soon after officers from KWS removed the tusks.
The animal is said to have strayed from the nearby Marmanet forest into the farms in Kiandege sub location in Nyandarua North district but it was not immediately established what caused its death.
KWS officer in charge of Nyahururu station Wellington Gathungu said it was believed that the jumbo could have died from natural causes but veterinary officers from the department had been called to ascertain the exact cause.
The villagers were joined by others from Mairo Inya town centre who walked for about four kilometres to arrive at the location.
The earth road to the location was full of people of all ages each carrying at least a kilo of red meat.
At one point a KWS officers who drove back to the scene unsuccessfully tried to prevail upon the people to stop taking the meat. The officer refused to talk to the press at the scene.
“You cannot stop us from taking the meat at this moment when many others have already arrived home with their pieces of meat,” said an elderly man in the crowd that was chopping off meat from the animal.
The forest is home to hundreds of elephants and the population goes up when others from Rumuruti in Laikipia West migrate to areas near Nyahururu town in search of pasture.