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April 24, 2013

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Agencies to increase warnings as city tourist killed by hippo in Africa

THE city's travel agencies and websites said yesterday that they will tighten oversight of client activities and remind tourists to be careful when visiting wildlife parks after a Shanghai tourist was killed by a hippo in Kenya on Sunday night.

Liu Xin, deputy general manager of the Shanghai China CYTS Outbound Travel Service Co, said the agency would warn tourists heading for Africa about the dangers of wildlife.

Zhang Heng with the Shanghai China International Travel Service Co said private, unregulated tours are not recommended for Kenya.

Tourists should not feed animals or exit vehicles randomly on grasslands, Zhang said.

The Shanghai tourist killed by a hippo in Lake Naivasha on Sunday night was walking back to her room after dinner when she was attacked, the Chinese embassy said. She bled to death before she could be treated, and the hippo was shot dead by workers.

The victim, Luo Yi, born in 1984, was a graduate of Tsinghua University and had a postgraduate degree from Yale University. She worked in a consulting company in Lujiazui.

She participated in a tour group of an overseas travel agency, the Shanghai Tourism Bureau said.

Luo's parents have flown to Kenya to claim Luo's body. Her friends and colleagues criticized the management of the Lake Naivasha Country Club where Luo was staying for not protecting tourists. The hotel were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Kenyan media said the woman photographed a hippo, sparking an attack by its mother. Luo's friends and colleagues said they doubted she would be taking pictures of wildlife at night.

The embassy reminded Chinese tourists to be careful about wildlife in Kenya. It said this was the first time that a Chinese tourist had been attacked by hippo in Kenya in two years, but injury and death due to hippo attacks happen every year in Africa.

Africa is a minor tourism destination for Shanghai tourists. In 2011, a total of 16,407 tourists in organized tour groups visited Africa, dropping 19.86 percent from a year earlier. Safety was a concern, the bureau said.


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