HomeOutdoorsNewsMan Survives Hyena Attack Only to Be Trampled by Wild Elephant

Man Survives Hyena Attack Only to Be Trampled by Wild Elephant

by Caitlin Berard
Wild Elephant Charging in Africa
(Photo by Walter Stein via Getty Images)

A wild elephant trampled a man to death last week a mere three years after he survived a vicious hyena attack.

While walking home on Wednesday, March 1, Mzee Musili Musembi, a 72-year-old resident of Ilikoni village in Kenya, suffered a fatal elephant attack. Tragically, the incident occurred just three years after he was attacked by a hyena while attempting to save his livestock from the hungry wild animal.

In an interview with a local news outlet, Musembi’s widow, Josepheter Mutheu, explained that the hyena attacked their livestock back in 2020. Musembi threw himself between the hyena and his animals after it killed one of his cows. Luckily, he escaped the incident with minor injuries.

The fatal wild elephant trampling occurred in an area just outside of Tsavo East National Park. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, this area is home to a number of dust-red elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lions, leopards, hippos, and crocodiles.

Local news outlets reported that the man’s body remained at the scene for a full day before residents finally discovered him. They then wrapped the corpse in the Kenyan flag and refused to allow police to collect the corpse. They argued that the response from both police and wildlife officials following animal-human conflicts such as this has been “lackluster.”

“We are tired of rampant attacks by elephants. The government has turned a blind ear to the plight of farmers in this region,” said local resident Muli Mulevu, per Newsweek.

Wild Elephant Tramplings and Other Human-Animal Conflicts on the Rise

Due to human expansion, the frequency of animal-human conflicts across the globe has skyrocketed in recent years. These incidents pose a deadly threat to not only humans but the animals involved as well.

The wild African elephant population, for example, has dropped from 5 million to around 470,000, with conflicts with humans being one of the main causes of the drastic population decline. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Kenyan wildlife officials euthanize between 50-120 “problem elephants” annually, further damaging an already endangered species.

The constant loss of both human and animal life has sparked massive controversy in the country. Residents are demanding wildlife officials do more to prevent the incidents from occurring in the first place rather than simply killing the wildlife in the aftermath.

“KWS should be proactive rather than reactive,” said Makueni County Women’s Representative, Rose Museo. “They should also construct dams in the parks to prevent the animals from sneaking into farmlands.”

Though already a serious problem, experts only expect conflicts with wild elephants and other animals to worsen. As drought continues to lessen their supply of food and water, animals will venture further into human settlements. One study found that climate change is amplifying conflicts in as many as 80% of cases.