ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — A 75-year-old Michigan woman died in her son’s arms after being attacked by a hippopotamus during an African safari last weekend.
Carol Kirken, of Detroit, was vacationing with her family in Tanzania on Aug. 5 when the incident happened, WJBK reports. The same day she reportedly died, Kirken posted photos of a massive hippo migration on Facebook.
A tribute written by her family said, in part, “Our cherished Carol Kirken died in Tanzania on August 5th. She was on her annual holiday with family members for an African safari. Having past 75 years old, she was resolutely shooting for 100. She would have surely achieved it if not for this accident. Carol died quickly in the arms of her son Robert. We are shocked and saddened at her early departure from our lives.”
National Geographic lists the hippo as the most dangerous mammal in Africa, citing it as being extremely unpredictable.
Kirken was a community activist who supported various local women’s initiatives. She also helped military families in need.
“Carol was aggressive about the organization and very passionate,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett told WJBK. “She called me just a few weeks ago and begged me to come to this meeting because she was excited about the new direction of the YMCA that was very important to her. They went around the table and said what is your interest in being here I said, ‘I am here because Carol asked me to be here.'”