Residents of Maina village on the outskirts of Nyahururu town on Thursday night battled a herd of elephants that caused destruction of crops.
The residents who are counting loses said the jumbos, that strayed from the nearby Marmanet forest, brought down fruit trees and trampled on the tussling maize crop among others.
The villagers blamed the long hours’ stay of the animals numbering nine on excited youths who kept herding the animals from one side of the village to the other.
“Whenever one group attempted to drive the elephants out of the village, another group blocked the way forcing the animals to break fences as they looked for an exit route,” said Nyumba Kumi chairman John Macharia.
He said the animals arrived in the village some minutes to 10pm causing a lot of panic among residents as people rushing home to beat curfew hours were forced to either take longer routes or take refuge in neighbouring homes.
“When the youths learnt that the animals were present, they came out in large numbers, some curious to see elephant at close range for the first time, and started trailing them from one place of the village to another,” the Nyumba Kumi chairman said.
Peter Mwaura said some of the youths had pangas and expected KWS officers to come and shoot dead the animals so they could skin the carcass for meat.
Mary Wambui, who lost a quarter acre plantation of green maize, said the animals broke fences and got into the shamba after youths blocked them.
Most of the affected people spent most part of Thursday morning repairing the broken fences.
Destruction of the forest had left the elephants with little food and that is why they are trekking long distances to look for food in the human settlement areas.