- Peter Moy
- BBC News, Nairobi
Three armed Kenyan wildlife officers approached a house on high alert after reports of seeing a stray lion in the area.
But it soon became surprising, when it turned out that all they found was a shopping bag amid a hedge of trees with a picture of a lion’s head.
A farm worker in the village of Kenyana, just one kilometer from Mount Kenya National Park, sounded the alarm after spotting what he thought was a lion outside his farm owner’s home.
The bag had been placed inside the hedge by the homeowner, who had placed some avocado seedlings in it to protect it from drying out.
Local official Cyrus Mbigwe told the BBC that although there were no recent reports of stray lions in the area, residents had complained that some of their livestock had been lost.
“We handled the incident with a great deal of caution and seriousness. We first made sure everyone was safe, then wildlife officials conducted an investigation and discovered it was a bag,” he added.
The owner of the house was outside when the wildlife rangers were called. When she returned home, she was told of the reports of a lion and advised to enter her house through the door on the other side of the building from the fence, so she did not immediately associate the report of a lion with the bag containing its seedlings.
The shopping bag was right under the window, and when I opened the window, the officials realized that the supposed lion had no body, in fact it was just a shopping bag.
Despite the false alarm, the Kenya Wildlife Authority praised “the public for sounding the alarm in order to avoid potential conflict”.
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