Kenyan rangers kill stray lion to protect mob

A ranger from the Kenya Wildlife Service shooting dead the lion after it attacked and injured a man in Kajiado district on Wednesday.
A ranger from the Kenya Wildlife Service shooting dead the lion after it attacked and injured a man in Kajiado district on Wednesday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

NAIROBI • Kenyan wildlife rangers shot dead a stray male lion on the outskirts of Nairobi after it attacked and injured a resident, the Kenya Wildlife Service said.

A mob had gathered around the lion, forcing the rangers to shoot it to avert further injuries, a spokesman for the agency said.

"It had injured somebody. There was a crowd that had formed around it, so it was practically impossible to capture it the way we planned to," Mr Paul Udoto, the communications manager for the wildlife service, told Reuters by phone.

The lion was the third in recent weeks to stray from Nairobi National Park on the outskirts of the capital. No injuries were reported in the first case on Feb 19, but one man was injured in the second incident on March 18.

The wildlife service managed to capture the stray lions in the first two incidents and it returned them to protected areas.

TOO LATE FOR RESCUE

The mob had formed... and by the time the veterinary and security teams got to the ground, it was already beyond salvation.

MR PAUL UDOTO, the communications manager for the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Images on social media showed the lion in the latest incident walking in a grassy area next to the fence of the national park at around 9am.

They also showed residents gathering around the animal. Some of them were perched on the back of light trucks.

"The mob had formed and in the process somebody got injured, and by the time the veterinary and security teams got to the ground, it was already beyond salvation," Mr Udoto said. "With that commotion, we risked more injuries or even possible deaths."

Nairobi National Park lies on the city limits, providing visitors views of lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and other wildlife against a backdrop of high-rise buildings.

Lions are occasionally spotted in the city close to the park after they find a way through fences that protect the built-up areas near the reserve.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'Kenyan rangers kill stray lion to protect mob'. Print Edition | Subscribe