Kuki Gallmann: Kenya’s Top Conservationist Shot and Gravely Injured



Kuki Gallmann, Kenya’s biggest conservancy owner and the best selling author of I Dreamed of Africa, has been shot and injured by armed herdsmen.

She is the owner of Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

The violent group had attacked the ranch last month, killing one and destroying a lot of facilities- a luxury safari lodge was burnt down.

Yesterday they struck again and managed to shoot the 73-year old conservancy owner.

Report says the bullet hit Mrs Kuki’s hip and pierced further through her torso.

The herdsmen “without livestock” had launched series of attacks on private land owners. Due to the drought condition in the country, the herders face the risk of losing a lot of livestock.

In what could be a desperate but definitely an insensitive measure, these herders have clashed with several Kenyan landowners in hopes that they possess their lands for the sustenance of their livestock.

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It is suspected that the recent attack on Mrs Kuki was as a result of a clash between the herders and the police which unfortunately claimed the lives of about 100 cattle.

According to the police the herders were using their livestock as a shield as they hoped to invade the ranch.

After shooting Mrs Kuki, the wildlife rangers were reportedly engaged in a cross fire with the herders who later fled into the bush.

The shot woman was airlifted in a helicopter and first transported to Nanyuki, a town south of Laikipia with a large British Army base, where she was stabilized.

Mrs Kuki was later flown to Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi. Aga Kahn if one of the best and highly reputable hospitals in East Africa.

Similar to the 2015 Xenophobic attack, it is said that the herders were manipulated and instigated by some local politicians. The police have arrested some of these instigators.

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Observers believe that this year’s election and the drought crisis have heightened the conflict between herders and landowners.

Mrs Kuki Gallmann who usually keeps and gives updates on any attack witnessed in her conservancy.

Before the attack, she shared one of her deepest thoughts about her stay in Kenya and the recent happenings around her.

“There is absolutely no question that I want to stay in this place, die in this place, which could be any minute,”

“My husband and my son are buried in my garden,”

“This may not mean much to an American, but it means a lot to Africans, and it means a lot to me.”

Laikipia Nature Conservancy is the biggest of all in Kenya. It has the most beautiful ranches in the country occupying about 100,000 acres of lush green land.

Laikipia houses rare wildlife, birds and trees. Through community, education, arts and sports projects, the wildlife enthusiast gives back to the society.

Born an Italian, Kuki Gallmann relocated to Kenya in 1972 with her family. In time she legally obtained a Kenya citizenship.

Over the course of their stay in Africa, the nature romantic lost her son and husband. Kuki’s son died from a snake bite while her husband died in a car crash.

The writer and environmentalist’s I Dreamed of Africa story was turned into a movie, starring Kim Basinger.

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