Carol Sue Kirken, a 75-year-old grandma from Michigan, was reportedly killed in a hippopotamus attack while she and her family were enjoying an African Safari as part of their annual family holiday. According to the Kansas City Star, Carol and her family were in Tanzania for the safari when the unfortunate incident happened. The report also adds that Carol breathed her last breath in the arms of her son Robert Kirken. The actual circumstances that led to the hippo attack, however, has not been fully revealed yet. What is currently known is that the incident happened on August 5.
Before the hippo attack, Carol had posted several photos taken during the trip to her Facebook page. One of the images showed her sitting in a plane which took her to Tanzania. She had also made a post on August 1 in which she said she was looking forward to seeing several beautiful animals.
In the obituary penned by Carol’s family members, they described her as being widely known and respected among the medical community in her neighborhood. The obituary adds that Carol was “was resolutely shooting for 100” and that she would have surely achieved it if it were not for the accident.
“We are shocked and saddened at her early departure from our lives,” it further read.
Following Carol’s death, tributes flowed in from several quarters with people expressing shock at her sudden demise. Among the people shocked by Carol’s death was Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett who described her to be an “absolute treasure.” Several others commented on her obituary page reminiscing the time they spent with her.
According to National Geographic, Hippos are widely considered to be the most dangerous mammal in Africa. Apart from sporting a very unpredictable behavior, they are also known to be very territorial and aggressive. A male hippo can weight up to 6,000 pounds. Females are much smaller – weighing anywhere between 3,500 and 4,000 pounds. Hippos are known to pick up regular fights with crocodiles and one video on YouTube even shows it chasing away a rhinoceros. There have been several recorded cases of hippos attacking humans who ventured too close. Africa reports almost 500 deaths from hippo attacks every year.
Carol’s family has planned a farewell for her on August 20.
[Featured Image by Richard Vogel/AP Images]