Kenya Wildlife Service rangers are searching for a lion that killed a herdsman at the Nairobi National Park on Monday night.

Eighteen-year-old Weldon Kirui was mauled as his seven colleagues watched, scared. 

Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said the eight herders were herding animals in the park when they were attacked by two lions.

“The herders were illegally in the park when the attack occurred and most of the man’s body was eaten by the lions,” Koome said.

Lang’ata police boss Elijah Mwangi said Kirui’s remains were taken to the city mortuary.  The other herders were arrested and detained for illegal herding of animals in the park.

KWS acting head of communication Ngugi Gecaga said the search for the lions had been unsuccessful.

“A lion trap that has been set in the location has not yielded anything,” Gecaga said.

He said a fresh team of rangers and a veterinarian are combing the area for the beasts, adding that big cats could have sneaked out of the park.

He asked the public to be on the lookout and inform the authorities if they see the lions.

A KWS ranger said that Kirui was attacked at about 2am. His colleagues were rescued by the warders.

“KWS is saddened by the tragic death of a gentleman who was killed by a lion on the southern periphery of Nairobi National Park. Our team of rangers including a  vet doctor is searching for the lions to locate, dart and remove,” KWS said in a statement on Monday.

“We are reaching out to the family of the deceased with a view to visiting and consoling with them.  KWS urges members of the public to say calm and not to venture out at night till the lions are captured.”

The Nairobi National Park is partly ringed by electric fencing. It is not entirely sealed off to allow for the traditional migration of animals.

The only park in the world in the vicinity of a city is the home of among others lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, gazelles and buffalos.  The animals roam the park against the backdrop of distant skyscrapers.