Woman fatally attacked by hippo while on safari


Carol Kirken was with family when it happened. She died in his arms.

"Having past 75 years old", it reads, "she was resolutely shooting for 100".

A tragic accident in Tanzania took the life of Carol Kirken, mother of UTEP's Dean of the College of Sciences, Dr. Robert Kirken, after she was attacked by a hippo during safari last week. "We are shocked and saddened at her early departure from our lives".

Kirken liked to travel, and she posted many pictures of the places she's been on her Facebook page. "She would have surely achieved it if not for this accident", her grieving relatives wrote in a post for a MI funeral home.

"The hippopotamus is the most risky animal in Africa", Tom Stalf, president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo, told Inside Edition.

Kirken had been posting photos of her African safari on Facebook, saying she saw so many lovely animals, including hippos and bull elephants.

"Though they occasionally spar with crocodiles, a growing number of skirmishes are with humans".

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Hippos are known to attack anything that might seem threatening to them.


Friends and family of Carol Kirken poured out tributes to the woman upon the shocking news of her death.

"She was just a rocket of passion and enthusiasm", Randy Secontine, who served with Kirken on an advisory board to the YMCA, told the Detroit Free Press. And a farewell service for the woman is scheduled for August 20.

Rochester Hills Mayor Brian Barnette spoke with Local 4 over the phone about Kirken. "There are few individuals in the group that you think about that are supreme fortunes and Carol is one of those in our group".

Kirken did charity work for Crittenton Hospital, the Rochester Women's Fund and the North Oakland YMCA.

One of her grandsons, writing on Facebook, called her "the greatest grandmother anyone could ask for".