The Heat Is Online

Girls Attacked By Drought-Stricken Baboons

Thirsty baboons attack girls in Kenya for water

Baboons and other animals compete with humans for water in drought-stricken parts of Kenya

Reuters News Service, April 22, 2003

ISIOLO, Kenya (Reuters) -- Four young girls had the fright of their lives when a pack of thirsty baboons attacked them for their water containers in a northern region of Kenya ravaged by a long dry spell, a local official said on Tuesday.

Aisha Wako, 12, suffered cuts and bruises to the face as she tried to fight off the animals while Mumina Golicha had her clothes ripped by the baboons' claws.

Wako and her friends were attacked by about thirty baboons as they walked the 12 km (7.2 miles) back to their village from drawing water at a well in Isiolo district, 320 km (192 miles) north of the capital Nairobi last Friday.

"This problem is not only confined to the area where the attack took place, but is in most parts of the district which is experiencing severe shortage of water and pasture that threatens both the lives of human beings and wild animals," Isiolo County Council Chairman Ibrahim Halake Fayo said.

As a result of the attack women walking long distances to fetch drinking water for their families have to be accompanied by local men to guard against wild animals.

Lions, hyenas and elephants now share the boreholes used by local people for fresh water due to a biting water shortage caused by low rainfall in the east African country.