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Snarling lioness with male lion behind
Image: picture alliance/blickwinkel/H. Schmidbauer

Stray lion attacks elderly man in Nairobi

Rebecca Staudenmaier
March 18, 2016

A male lion has injured an elderly man after straying from a reserve onto a busy road in Kenya's capital. The animal reportedly became agitated by motorists loudly honking their horns during morning rush hour traffic.


A 63-year-old man was injured during a lion attack on Friday after the animal wandered out of Kenya's Nairobi National Park onto a major highway during the height of morning traffic, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) reported.

Paul Udoto, a KWS spokesman, said the black-maned lion swiped at the man after it became agitated by horn-honking from passing cars.

"People were there, hooting their horns, taking selfies and all that, and the lion got agitated," Udoto said. He added that the injured man was taken to hospital and is in stable condition.

Following the incident, the male lion returned to the park, followed by rangers who encouraged it to move deeper into the reserve.

"The lion is safely back, but our teams are still on the ground in case there are any others around that have not been spotted," Udoto said.

Lions 'on the loose' or humans too close?

A video circulating on social media shows commuters incessantly honking their horns as the large lion runs along Mombasa Road, a traffic-packed four-lane highway in Nairobi. Some looked on at the lion from behind a closed iron-bar gate.

Animals in Nairobi National Park roam just 10 kilometers (six miles) from downtown Nairobi. Kenya's big cats are increasingly strained as the fast-growing city of over three million expands onto the animals' ancient migration routes and hunting grounds.

Conservationists argue that lions are neither "escaping" from the parks nor "straying" into human settlements; lions, they say, predate people in the area and people have moved into the lions' home ranges.

Last month, two lions spent a day wandering through Kibera, a densely packed Nairobi slum, before returning to the park. Although lion sightings are becoming more common in the bustling capital, it is unusual for anyone to be injured during the animals' outings.

rs/jm (AP, Reuters)

Free rein for wild animals

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