Court orders Sh25mn compensation for Chinese tourist killed by hippo

February 1, 2019 1:42 pm
Incidents of fatal or serious injuries caused by hippos in Lake Naivasha are rampant. Photo/CFM-FILE.

, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 1 – A court in Nairobi has ordered a hotel to pay Sh25 million compensation to a Chinese tourist killed by a hippo.

Sun Africa Hotel Limited was on Thursday ordered to pay compensation for Luo Yi—a young female tourist was killed in 2013, while on holiday.

High Court Judge Jackline Kamau ruled that there was negligence on the part of the hotel for failing to dig trenches around the establishment, to keep away wild animals.

She also ruled that, an electric fence around the hotel was not functional.

The amount paid to the deceased was special damages, loss of life, pain and injuries sustained.

The judge dismissed claims by the hotel that the deceased was attacked while taking photographs of the hippo.

She said the said photos were not produced in court, and that the person said to have seen him taking them outside the hotel did not testify.

“The hotel management ought to have always accompanied visitors whenever they came out of the hotel,” the judge ruled.

The case was filed by 58-year-old Luo Jiyao—the father of the dexeased girl, seeking orders to compel the hotel to pay him compensation, saying he lost his only daughter who died as a result of negligence by the hotel management.

In his suit, he had wanted the hotel and the Kenya Wildlife Service compelled to compensate him, but the judge said it’s the hotel that should pay him.

A lawyer representing KWS, accused the hotel of “allowing wild animals to roam freely into the hotel facility’s garden and compound with no hindrances thus exposing the visitors to threats of harm…. failing to install a watch tower or flood lights to provide security towards the lake”.

But in its defence, the hotel submitted that it is the tourist who moved too close to a calf rhino before the mother charged out of a dark shade and knocked her down, fatally wounding her on April 22, 2013.

In August last year, another Chinese tourist was killed by a hippo in Lake Naivasha.

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