American tourist, 75, killed in hippo attack while on safari


A hippopotamus attacked and killed a suburban Detroit woman while she was on safari in Africa.

Carol Kirken, 75, was visiting Tanzania with her family last week when the massive herbivore attacked her.

Kirken, a business woman active in her community, quickly died in her son’s arms, her family wrote in a post for a Michigan funeral home.

“Having past 75 years old, she was resolutely shooting for 100. She would have surely achieved it if not for this accident,” her grieving relatives wrote. “We are shocked and saddened at her early departure from our lives.”

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The family didn’t say what prompted the hippo to attack Kirken last Saturday, but the mammals are known to use their large teeth to defend against anything they deem a threat.

Kirken had posted as late as the day she died about witnessing a large animal migration, local Fox affiliate WJBK reported.

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

(USO/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

She worked for some time at cosmetics firm Arbonne International, where she was a national vice president, according to her family.

Kirken lived in Rochester Hills, a community north of Detroit where she was involved in multiple philanthropies.

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“She was just a rocket of passion and enthusiasm,” Randy Secontine, who sat on the board to the local YMCA with Kirken, told the Detroit Free Press.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett told WJBK that he was in “just shock” that she was killed.

“She is a person who left a positive mark in this community a lot of people who benefited because of her passion,” Barnett told the news channel.

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