An American woman on an African Safari was killed after a hippopotamus attacked her. According to reports, she was watching a hippo migration before the attack.
Carol Kirken, 75, was a Rochester Hills, Michigan, resident. She was attacked in early August while vacationing with her family in Tanzania and died as her son, Robert Kirkland, held her.
Kirken reportedly posted updates about the trip on her Facebook profile. In a post on Aug. 1, she wrote that she saw “many beautiful animals today,” including hippos and elephants. On Aug. 5, she wrote a post about a hippo migration. According to her obituary, the same day she posted about the migration, Kirken was attacked.
“Our cherished Carol Kirken died in Tanzania on August 5th. She was on her annual holiday with family members for an African safari,” the family wrote. “Having (passed) 75 years old, she was resolutely shooting for 100. She would have surely achieved it if not for this accident. Carol died quickly in the arms of her son Robert. We are shocked and saddened at her early departure from our lives.”
Kirken was a well-known figure in her community. Active with charitable work, she was a founding member of the Rochester Women’s Fund.
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett commented about Kirken’s death. “Just shock,” he said, according to reports. “There are few people in the community that you think of that are absolute treasures, and Carol is one of those in our community.”
Family members are working with authorities to have her body returned to the U.S. They plan to have a farewell on Aug. 20, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Hippos are dangerous and aggressive land mammals. They kill more people on average than any other mammal, reportedly 300 or more people each year.
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