NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A demonstration in Kenya against the threats posed by wildlife turned deadly when security forces killed four protesters, police said Thursday.
The protesters clashed with security forces, resulting in the fatal shootings, Mashuru town police chief Charles Chepkonga confirmed.
Kajiado county Gov. Joseph Ole Lenku in a statement called on police to avoid using “excessive force” and also 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.