The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has shot dead a lion on the loose in Isinya, on the outskirts of Nairobi, after it clawed a man.
KWS had dispatched two teams to hunt down the lion that was spotted by early risers in the town. The lion went wild after people crowded around it, injuring the man.
KWS head of corporate communications, Paul Masela Gathitu, confirmed the shooting dead of the big cat, and said he was still investigating the circumstances under which the teams had to bring it down.
“A team from our branch in Kitengela and one that specialises in translocation at the KWS headquarters had been sent to trace the lion,” Mr Gathitu said.
He had said the lion would be driven back to its habitat once and its reason for leaving established.
He said the lion’s habitat could not be immediately established but it could have escaped from the Nairobi National Park, or from reserves in Kitengela, Magadi, Amboseli or elsewhere.
“Again, we urge the public to be calm and report to the authorities if they spot a lion or any other wild animals,” he said.
FOURTH IN TWO MONTHS
Wednesday’s incident is the fourth in less than two months, and KWS says each of the incidents had its own explanation.
It comes just 10 days after a 63-year-old man was injured by another stray lion in Nairobi’s Mombasa Road.
The elderly man was clawed by the lion as it wandered on the busy highway early in the morning. He had since been discharged from hospital.
In an earlier incident, the lion, which was later identified as Cheru, had left the Nairobi park with other members of a pride.
The pride got into a homestead and mauled 78 sheep and goats.
“As they were returning into the park, Cheru lost his way and that is when it was found at Mombasa Road,” Mr Gathitu said.
The big cats have on two occasions mauled domestic animals from nearby residential areas.
In the first incident where two lionesses were spotted along Langata Road, KWS said the lionesses were forming a decoy to shield their cubs.
Two days later, a man reported at the Lang’ata Police Station that two lions had mauled his three goats at a neighbouring estate.
KWS estimates that there are about 35 lions in the park, stating that it was hard to establish the exact population of wild animals that freely move within the 117-square kilometre park.