Shock and panic gripped villagers in Kibaoni and Takaungu in Kilifi County on Tuesday after over 100 cattle collapsed and died one after the other, a few hours after arriving from grazing fields.
The cattle had grazed on the fields said to be owned by an area manufacturing plant, before they developed stomach complications and died, Kahindi Muhambi, Mnarani ward representive, told Baraka FM.
“They have been grazing there for a long time and all has been well. There has not been any conflict between the villagers and anyone over the grazing fields, so we really can’t begin to imagine what may have happened,” Muhambi said, adding that they suspected poisoning.
The Ward rep, who said he also two cows, revealed that five cows had died on Monday after grazing from the fields, but villagers ignored, until many more died the following day.
“The dead cattle have swollen stomachs, which hint at poisoning. A veterinary doctor collected some samples for analysis, and we await results tomorrow before we decide which action to take,” he added.
Some cattle died at the fields while others succumbed as they arrived back home from grazing, he said.
The mass deaths are a big loss to the over 60 villages involved, who suspect someone may have sprayed poison over the pasture intentionally to kill the cattle.
Police said they were yet to receive a formal complain over the occurrence, but added they would still go ahead and investigate.