A young couple narrowly escaped a vicious lion attack while on their way to fetch firewood in Elsa Ntirim village of Kenya’s Isiolo County.
The incident, which occurred on Tuesday evening, has prompted urgent calls for action from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to address the issue of stray animals.
Michael Apayu and his wife, Susan Chebet, found themselves in a life-threatening situation as they encountered a lion during their routine task. The ferocious animal first targeted Chebet, viciously mauling her before turning its attention to Apayu.
Recalling the harrowing experience, Apayu described how the lion attacked them, inflicting serious injuries. “The lion first chased my wife who was behind me, she later ran ahead of me then the lion proceeded to attack me. It bit my hands, legs, back, and shoulders,” he recounted.
In a desperate bid to defend themselves, Chebet bravely fought back, striking the lion’s head with a panga. Despite sustaining injuries herself, Chebet’s courageous actions momentarily subdued the agitated animal. However, the couple’s ordeal was far from over as the lion continued its assault, sinking its teeth into Chebet’s legs.
With remarkable resilience, Apayu managed to retaliate, targeting the lion’s front limb and eyes with his weapon. The strategic blows caused the lion to falter, allowing the couple to escape from its grasp. “After the lion fell, we managed to flee,” Chebet recounted.
The incident has sparked outrage among the community, with Hellen Natukun, a sister to one of the victims, condemning the attack and urging swift action from the authorities. “The KWS should ensure that all wild animals are in the reserves and national parks. If they find out that the animals have left the reserves, they should respond to that because people are moving every day,” Natukun asserted.
Furthermore, Natukun emphasized the need for compensation for the victims, highlighting the financial strain they now face in clearing the accrued medical bills. The call for assistance underscores the urgent need for support for those affected by wildlife-related incidents.
As Apayu and Chebet continue to recover from their injuries at the Isiolo County Referral Hospital, their ordeal serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by stray animals and the pressing need for effective measures to mitigate such risks. The plea for action from the KWS resonates as a crucial step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of communities living in wildlife-adjacent areas.