Neighbours say that wild animals have so far attacked and killed livestock in four homesteads and that Santau’s in the fifth in a span of a few months
By Beverline Timanoi
A 50-year-old widow in Olepolos is counting her losses after a leopard attacked and killed 50 of her goats.
Siantau Timpau says she woke up in the morning only to be met by the ghastly image of her sheep carcasses scattered all over the goat shed. “When I found that the leopard had killed my animals I made calls to my neighbours in the surrounding bomas and who immediately went into the bush to try and locate the missing sheep,” she explained.
She now says she cannot trace 50 more goats, which must have escaped from the attacking leopard. Holding back tears, Santau said that the attack on her sheep and goats has now left her destitute as they are her only source of livelihood. “I have a child in university, another one in college and two in secondary school,” she said amid sobs. “I depend on the sheep and goats, which I sell to pay school fees for my children.”
Silas Lentia, who is Santau’s son said that the fate of his college studies is uncertain as her doesn’t know where he will get fees from. “I had come home for fees,” he said. “Now I will be forced to stay at home until I get help from elsewhere.”
Area residents are now calling on the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to take better control of wild animals in their care to prevent further attacks. Neighbours say that wild animals have so far attacked and killed livestock in four homesteads and that Santau’s in the fifth in a span of a few months.
They also expressed fears for their school going children, whom they said risked being attacked by wild animals on their way to and from school. “Our children are currently not going to school and are living in fear,” said James Mutunkei. “We have now lost close to 500 sheep and goats to wild animals. How long is the situation going to persist before KWS takes action?”
They are now asking the Kajiado County Government to intervene on their behalf to ensure that they get compensated and the they live in security together with their livestock.
Such instances where wild animals attack livestock have led to case of human wildlife conflicts in Kajiado County, due to its proximity to wildlife sanctuaries.
Residents living in areas where wild animals are found have been at constant loggerheads with KWS, in their efforts to get compensated wherever their livestock have been killed or instances where human beings have either injured or killed by wild animals.