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Hippo kills Chinese tourists in Kenya

By Li Lianxiang and Shi Yingying (China Daily)

10:25, April 24, 2013

A hippopotamus in the Mara River in Kenya. Tourists are advised to stand at least 20 to 50 meters away from hippos while observing them. (Xinhua/Xu Su)

Visitor to Kenya attacked while attempting to photograph calves

A Shanghai tourist killed in Kenya by a hippopotamus on Monday has sparked fears among tourism insiders over Chinese visitors joining adventure tours without sufficient awareness of self-protection.

The Standard, an English-language newspaper in Kenya, reported that a woman in her 30s was attacked by a female hippo as she tried to take photos of a baby hippo at Lake Naivasha Country Club, 5 km from a nature reserve in the town of Naivasha. She died on the way to hospital.

Kenyan Wildlife Service officers shot the hippo dead after the incident.

The woman, who has not been identified, was seriously injured to the waist and neck and was taken to a private hospital where she was pronounced dead, Osman Ibrahim, the warden in charge of Hell's Gate National Park, south of Lake Naivasha, told the newspaper. Her body was taken to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

The Chinese embassy in Kenya confirmed the incident, according to Xinhua News Agency, but had released no further details as of Tuesday night.

Zhang Jie, from the Shanghai Tourism Administration, said it was an isolated case and the tourism bureau is not advising Chinese tourists to stop visiting Kenya.

Han Jun, chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce in East Africa, who also runs a travel agency in Nairobi also said the accident was an individual case.

He said more than 40,000 Chinese travelers visited Kenya last year. The figure was just 28,000 in 2010, according to the China Tourism Academy.

Tang Yao, tourism manager at Zijing Great Wall (Kenya) Travel, said the accident has not had an impact on his business so far.

"We are receiving loads of enquiries regarding prices every day and no one has voiced their concern about the accident yet," he said.

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