Story of the Hippo in Lumo

As I was volunteering in Lumo, one day we came across footprints on the road, quite close to Lions Rock. Head-ranger Elvis and others thought that there is camel, escaped from some local camel farm.

Mystery footprint

As we followed these foot prints for a day, they lead to small water bond, made for local cows and wildlife, called dam. It certainly could not be a camel! So we started to look for a Hippo instead.

Footprints leading to the water

Footprints were going in and coming out of the water. Rangers went look for it from the nearby bushes, as I stayed by the bond, and kept eye on the brown surface of the water. After wait, that felt very long, I could see nostrils arising from water.

First Hippo in Lumo ever, and only photograph of it.

Kenya wildlife service (KWS) was informed, and they came the following day. Idea was to relocate Hippo to the area, where there would be space for it. This Hippo most probably was young male, that highly territorial males had chased away from Lake Jipe about 50 km away. A long walk for a large animal!

When KWS arrived, Hippo was no longer there. They and we searched for it everywhere with no luck. Day after that we heard sad news that Hippo had been shoot in Bura village. It had been aggressive towards people, and there had been no alternative. Somehow that Hippo had walked unnoticed from fenced Lumo all the way to the mountains. It had been very bad choice as in mountain slopes there are simply no places for Hippos to go underwater.

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