Man mistakes shopping bag for lion. It could just be the headline of an article on the satirical website De Speld. In Kenya, however, that huge error of judgment led to a serious search with a hilarious climax.
A farmhand in the village of Kinyana raised the alarm this week after he believed he saw a lion outside his employer’s house. The local authorities took the report very seriously, as residents had recently complained that some of their livestock had gone missing.
Residents of the village – which is just a kilometer from the Mt Kenya National park – were advised to stay indoors as a precaution. In the meantime, three armed conservationists went on an investigation to ensure the safety of the residents.
As they approached a farm from which the disturbing report came, it became clear what was going on. In the bushes they did not find a life-threatening predator, but a shopping bag with a realistic photo of a lion on it. The bag had been put in the hedge by the owner of the house. He had put a plant with soil in it and wanted to prevent it from drying out.
The mistake will undoubtedly have made the authorities laugh. “We have treated the incident with great caution and seriousness,” local chief Cyrus Mbijiwe told the BBC. “We first made sure everyone was safe, after which conservationists investigated and discovered that it was a bag.”
Kenya Wildlife Service
Though it was a false alarm, Kenya Wildlife Service conservationists were proud of whoever raised the alarm for “trying to avoid a potential conflict.”
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