NAIROBI – Kenya’s wildlife authority says a Chinese tourist died after he was attacked by a hippo while taking pictures on the shores of Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley.
The Kenya Wildlife Service said in a statement Sunday that another Chinese tourist was injured in the incident Saturday night and received treatment in the local hospital in Naivasha, about 90 km (56 miles) northwest of Nairobi.
Wildlife service spokesman Paul Udoto said the circumstances are not clear in which the two Chinese were attacked. He said attacks on tourists are rare because they are usually protected by guides.
He said hippos and lone buffaloes pose the greatest danger to humans and there have been many attacks in which civilians and even rangers have lost their lives.
On Sunday, the Kenyan newspaper The Star quoted the head of a boat owners’ association in Navaisha as saying that higher than normal water levels were causing hippos to wander from the lake onto nearby farms and hotel properties searching for pasture.
After a severe drought last year, Kenya had several months of heavy rains earlier this year that caused serious flooding, including around Lake Naivasha.
Tourism is one of the country’s main sources of foreign exchange and nearly 1.5 million tourists visited Kenya last year, according to the Tourism Ministry.