4 Kenyans shot dead in protest against dangerous wildlife

June 2, 2022 GMT

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A demonstration in Kenya against the threats posed by wildlife turned deadly when four protesters were shot dead, police said Thursday.

The protesters clashed with security forces, resulting in the fatal shootings, Mashuru town police chief Charles Chepkonga said, adding that police would investigate what happened.

Kajiado county Gov. Joseph Ole Lenku in a statement called on police to avoid using “excessive force” and urged Kenyan wildlife authorities to “keep their animals away from our people.”

Thursday’s demonstration blocked the Nairobi-Mombasa highway for hours, as protesters placed rocks and burning tires on the road, leading police to intervene.

Residents have repeatedly called on the Kenya Wildlife Service to find a solution to the conflicts between people and animals, with farmers upset that elephants destroy their crops and at times kill people.

“These deaths could have been avoided with a little more understanding that the local communities are getting frustrated by the loss of human lives to wildlife,” the governor said.