By Samantha Netzband
Impunity Watch, Africa Desk Reporter
NAIROBI, Kenya– Kuki Gallmann, renowned author and conservationist has been shot at her conservatory in Kenya. Gallmann is 73 years old and owns the Laikipia Nature Conservatory. There is currently conflict between landowners, like Gallmann, and cattle herders in the Laikipia area. Gallmann owned a luxury safari lodge which was burned to the ground last month. It is suspected that the cattle herders may have been behind the arson.
Author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann. (Photo Courtesy of BBC Africa)
Currently it is unclear exactly who shot Gallmann, but those that were with her at the time claim it was a group of armed men without cattle. Gallmann is not the only one who has been shot. A British rancher, Tristan Voorspuy, was shot dead while inspecting his ranch in the same area. Gallmann has also been shot before in 2009.
Gallmann and others fear that Northern Kenyan is become a land of lawlessness. There are many who have nothing to lose and simply run around the country doing whatever they can to support themselves. Sometimes that means targeting individuals like Gallmann.
The widespread drought that is happening in East Africa is only complicating matters. Gallmann’s daughter said that she and her mother often will let herders graze on their land. However, recently due to the drought, there have been many more herders than usual. Some cattle, Gallmann’s daughter believes, actually belongs to wealthy owners rather than locals just seeking a place for their cattle graze. This has cause conflict between Gallmann and some of the herders.
Gallmann is currently recovering in ICU at a Nairobi hospital after a seven hour surgery to do repairs on her abdomen. She is expected to make a full recovery.
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