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Popular tour operator Robert Cullens Murimi killed by stray elephant in Samburu


Renowned Kenyan tour operator Robert Cullens Murimi died in the weekend after he was trampled to death by a stray elephant at Nkoteiya Conservancy in Maralal, Samburu County.

Murimi’s lifeless body was found lying inside a forest with multiple injuries, according to a report filed at the Maralal Police Station.

Reports indicate that the deceased had visited the conservancy in the company of his business partner, a Spanish national identified only as Jordin, and three Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers.

The rangers are reported to have escorted 50-year-old Murimi and Jordin, a Spanish national, for an excursion in the conservancy when the stray elephant is said to have attacked them.

“The body of an adult male believed to have been killed by an elephant in Nkoteiya Conservancy, Kilimon locality, Mogul area was discovered. After the attack, they ran for their lives but the deceased did not manage to escape,” the police report reads in part.

Murimi was the proprietor and CEO of Paws Africa Safaris, which offers tour services in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who was a schoolmate to Murimi at Dagoretti High School, eulogised him as an innovative and driven person.

“Sad to hear of the brutal death of my former schoolmate at Dagoretti High, Robert Murimi of PAWS. My condolences to his family, brother George & friends. Robert was always such an innovative & driven person. I appreciate his support whenever I called on him. Rest In Peace,” said Mutua.

The body of the deceased was flown to Nairobi via a chopper for preservation.

The attack comes barely a week after Charles Mutisya, 73, was disemboweled and trampled to death by an elephant while tending to his farm in the Nthunguni area of Makueni County.

In similar circumstances, the wild animal had strayed from Tsavo East National Park when it attacked the elderly man on the morning of December 30.

In the last five years, the government has disbursed over Sh1.2 billion to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflict across the country.

The statistics from KWS reveal that Sh569 million has been used to compensate 163 families whose relatives were killed by wildlife.

Figures from KWS also indicate that the number of victims killed or injured by wild animals is rising alarmingly.