Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kenya: Policemen mauled by wild leopard

Geoffrey Rono
The Nation (Nairobi)
March 8, 2007

Two administration policemen were admitted to hospital after being attacked by a leopard.

The officers were attacked as they searched for the animal in a bush at Chesegon village, Ndanai division in Bomet district.

The officers, one of whom also has a gunshot wound in the left leg, and 80-year-old Mzee Towett Belion are admitted to the intensive care unit of the Tenwek mission hospital.

They were said to have been helping Kenya Wildlife Service rangers to track down the animal after area residents reported that it was terrorising them.

Sergeant Samuel Towett had his left hand mauled and the right leg shattered below the knee by a bullet. Sources said he was shot by mistake as one of the officers tried to kill the animal that was attacking one of them.

Corporal Alfred Saveto Swamberi was injured in the head and legs.

Seven villagers are said to have been injured in the savage attack and were treated at the hospital and discharged. They were in a group that rushed to the scene when they heard gunshots as the officers and rangers battled the leopard.

Constable Isaiah Ruto was clawed on the chest while corporal Johnson Mbaka was shot in the left thigh.

Dr Mark Freije, the hospital medical superintendent, and Dr Zachariah Losialima, who operated on the victims, described their condition as "serious but stable".

The beast is still at large, leaving the villagers in fear.

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