Ace Mokua survives Hippo attack during training session
Elite athlete, Edwin Mokua was admitted to hospital on Monday evening after he suffered serious injuries from a hippopotamus attack as he trained in Nyahururu.
Mokua, who was to leave the country today (Wednesday) night for Turkey to participate in the Izmir Marathon slated for for Sunday, suffered broken ribs and injured arm, automatically ruling him out of the foreign race.
The attack happened on Monday late afternoon as Mokua trained in an open field bordering Ngare Naro River. The River is home to hundreds of hippos.
The runner was saved by a colleague, Dennis Kipkoskei who bravely fought off the rogue animal.
Kipkoskei said he was several metres ahead of Mokua when he encountered a herd of hippos grazing at a depression near the route used by many runners for individual training during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He managed to pass the animals but kept looking back hoping Mokua will also cautiously and safely pass them.
“I looked back and noticed he had delayed emerging from the depression where the animals were grazing. Something immediately told me to turn back and check on him,” said Kipkoskei.
He added: “On reaching the depression, I found him struggling to free himself from the jaws of one of the hippos.
I managed scare off the rest of the hippos before fighting off the attacking one.
It kept charging at me before going back to attack Mokua again, but finally the rogue animal went back to the water and I managed to carry away to safety my injured colleague.”
He said after carrying the injured and bleeding runner to safety, a motorcycle taxi helped ferry him and the injured Mokua to a private hospital in Nyahururu where first aid was administered before he was referred to the Laikipia’s Nyahururu County Referral hospital where he was taken straight to theatre and underwent surgery for over five hours.
Coach Francis Kamau said X-ray showed the runner suffered four broken ribs.
Miriam Wangare who was to travel with Mokua to Turkey said they were to participate in the annual marathon for the first time.
Speaking yesterday morning from his hospital bed, Mokua said he concentrated on about five other hippos grazing together when another, which he had not seen, attacked him from behind.