UTEP Dean’s mother killed by hippo in Tanzania


A tragic accident in Tanzania took the life of Carol Kirken, mother of UTEP’s Dean of the College of Science, Dr. Robert Kirken, after she was attacked by a hippo during safari last week.

According to multiple media reports, Kirken was with her son , Dr. Robert Kirken, and other family members on a safari in Tanzania. During an excursion on August 5,  the 75-year-old was attacked by a hippopotamus and died in Robert’s arms.

The story of Carol’s death has spread over social media in the last week as well-wisher’s have sent their condolences to the woman who was described by many as a pillar of her community.

Family is still working to get Carol Kirken’s body back to the United States for a funeral, but a memorial is scheduled Sunday, August 20, in her hometown of Rochester, Michigan.

Dr. Kirken has been the Professor and Chair at UTEP since 2005.

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