A Chinese tourist passed away after being bitten by a hippopotamus while trying to get a closer glimpse of the animal in Kenya.
Chang Ming Chuang, 66, was pounced by the giant mammal on the shores of Lake Naivasha in a wildlife resort located outside Nairobi. The unfortunate animal attack happened just hours after a local fisherman in the same area was killed while he was preparing his nets for a fishing expedition.
According to witnesses, the animal bit the victim on the chest after he got too close while trying to take photos near Sopa Hotel. The man bled profusely and was rushed to a hospital. However, it was too late.
"The man was bitten on the chest and his injuries were serious and he died minutes after he was retrieved from the lake," said Gideon Kibunja, Rift Valley head of criminal investigations.
Another Injured Colleague
Wu Peng Te, 62, another Chinese tourist, also obtained injuries in the attack on the night of Aug. 11 and was treated at Naivasha District Hospital. The organization tweeted that Chang's colleague survived with minor bruises. Furthermore, The Kenya Wildlife Service is already tracking the animal.
.@kwskenya is sad to announce the death of a #Chinese tourist who was attacked by a #hippo while taking pictures on the shores of Lake Naivasha yesterday evening. His colleague survived with minor bruises and was treated at #Naivasha District Hospital. We are tracking the hippo — KWS (@kwskenya) August 12, 2018
Hippopotamus are mostly herbivorous animals. So far, six people have been killed by the animal on Lake Naivasha this year. According to environmental experts, the conflict between the hippos and humans has amplified due to the encroachment into the grazing area of the animals.
Furthermore, Paul Udoto, spokesman for Kenya Wildlife Services said that the attacks on tourists do not happen usually because they are protected by guides most of the time.
David Kilo, Chairman of the Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association said that the hippo that attacked Chang was looking for grassland near the hotel.
He added that this is not the first time it happened and the case have been happening multiple times in the last couple of weeks. Many hippos are forced to stray into the hotels and farms for grazing because of the increasing water level. This has significantly increased the contact between humans and the animal.
According to Kilo, the attacks are probably going to continue in the wake of the encroachment of the riparian land by the pastoralists, farmers, and fishermen.
Additionally, the attack happened after the closure of the wildlife corridors around the lake. He said that they have seen cases of farmers who are fencing their land. Because of this, animals are locked in the water and can attack people while they are searching for new routes.
Hippos have very sharp teeth and can weigh up to a staggering 3 tons. It kills around 500 people every year in Africa.