Residents of Katulye area in Masinga sub-county of Machakos county have been warned against slaughtering a hippopotamus found dead in Masinga dam.

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Area assistant chief Josphat Ngumbi told Hivisasa in on phone interview that what killed the hippo is still a mystery hence need for locals not to eat it.

He said that the hippo could have died from disease and its meat may be harmful to locals who consume it.

"I was notified about a dead hippo at Masingo dam, we don't know what killed the animal and that's why I'm urging residents not to slaughter the animal because it could have been sick thus causing harm to anyone who eats it," said Ngumbi.

He urged residents not to be in a hurry to consume aquatic animals that they find dead especially fishes and hippos.

The area chief said that village elders will guard the hippo until officers from the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) arrive.

"Even dead fish shouldn't be consumed unless you forget that the fish can cause cholera," he said.

By the time of reporting, KWS officers had not arrived at the scene.