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Meru Villagers Mistake Shopping Bag for Lion, Call KWS

The Meru people are known to be fearless and aggressive. But that might now need a review if a recent incident in Meru is anything to go by.

A lion print Carrefour supermarket shopping bag caused tension among the residents of Muritibu village in Imenti South, Meru county.

The bag, which was lying under a leafy shrub and filled with avocado seedlings, made the residents believe that a lion was in their midst.

According to the images widely shared online and seen by, the bag’s lion face branding indeed gave an impression that the perceived big cat was peeping from under the bush.

In the incident which happened on the morning of Thursday, May 5, the residents were so fearful that they alerted the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) to come to their rescue and take it away.

Immediately, the KWS rangers responded to the call and prepared to capture the said ‘lion’ before it could attack the residents.

However, as the residents waited for the intervention, it emerged that it was not a real lion but a lion printed carrier bag.

Carrier bag. PHOTO | COURTESY

In the photos, a KWS warden is seen assessing the bag.

The incident elicited hilarious reactions on social media.

Kelvin Kimani Mbugua said: “And someone still believe Miraa is not a drug.”

Nestone Amisi Ray said: “I think it was a test of the KWS’s responses to emergency and preparedness. Kudos to the ‘lion’ spotter.”

Ephraim Ochola said: “Some villagers though! No one could throw a stone to observe the “lion” reaction?”

Patrick Kilonzo said: “Kwani wameru ni waoga aje, no one could confirm before calling police.”

Fardh Thigalu said: “Carrefour bag. Carrefour should apologise to the villagers.”

Chris Karani said: “Miraa should be banned for local consumption and only be exported. Hawa imewashinda.”

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