Elders Demand Rituals, Funeral for Rare Bird That Flew From Finland

  • Luo Community elders from the Yimbo Clan have reportedly requested the government to return the rare Osprey bird which flew 6,948 kilometers from Finland to a village in Bondo, Siaya County.

    The bird, rescued by one Walter Oloo who found it stuck in a fishing net, died on Tuesday, January 28, while under the care of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in Nairobi where it was taken from Siaya.

    According to a report by Citizen Digital, the Yimbo Elders’ Forum led by Mzee Thomas Achando demanded to conduct special traditional rites on the Osprey in order to appease the spirits, noting that the rare bird's arrival may have been a sign of good or bad tidings coming their way.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Wednesday, January 29, however, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) confirmed that the bird had already been disposed of. 

    A bird ringing tag on the Osprey's leg indicating its origins in Helsinki, Finland

    "What happened to the bird was tragic. But it was a wild bird and it has already been disposed of.

    "We've informed the people who ringed it in Finland," KWS spokesperson Paul Udoto told this writer.

    The elders had also blamed the decision by KWS to take the bird out of the Siaya eco-system to Nairobi for its death.

    KWS asserted that the bird passed on due to long-term starvation and other injuries it sustained before being rescued by Oloo.

    "We appreciate the people who brought the bird to our attention but we are not aware of any demands," Udoto stated.

    The Yimbo elders' sentiments were reportedly echoed by their Bondo sub-county counterparts who called for the osprey to be preserved to serve as a tourist attraction in Siaya.

    Mzee Odida Bwoga, Chairperson of the Luo Council of elders in Bondo sub-county, compared the Osprey to the Omieri snake which features in several traditional tales.

    In addition, the elders called on the government to engage in talks with Finland to get more birds to Siaya, noting that areas such as Lake Kanyaboli National Reserve were already a hot-spot for migratory birds.

    The Osprey bird that flew from Finland to Siaya pictured while under the care of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on Friday, January 24