Hippo Kills Michigan Grandmother During African Safari: She Was an 'Absolute Treasure'

Carol Kirken died last week in Tanzania after being attacked by a hippopotamus

A Michigan community is mourning the death of a Rochester Hills woman who died in a hippo attack while on vacation with her family in Tanzania.

Carol Kirken, 75, passed away Aug. 5 after the animal attacked her during a safari, Fox 2 Detroit reports.

“Carol died quickly in the arms of her son Robert,” the family wrote in her obituary. “We are shocked and saddened at her early departure from our lives.”

As she set off on the getaway, Kirken was shown in a Facebook photo smiling wide on a plane, according to Fox. Other since-deleted shots showed photos of the safari, with Kirken marveling at the animals.

“Having past 75 years old, she was resolutely shooting for 100,” the family continued in Kirken’s obituary. “She would have surely achieved it if not for this accident.”

Now, the family is working to have Kirken’s body brought back to the U.S., according to Fox. And a farewell service for the woman is scheduled for Aug. 20.

Kris Kirken Strickler/Facebook

She leaves behind her husband, Bill, three children and five grandchildren, according to her obituary.A Loving Son Takes His Mother to the Happiest Place on Earth – for the Most Heartwarming Reason

Kirken served as the vice president of Arbonne International, a cosmetics and skincare company, and had worked with the organization for more than 20 years, according to her profile on the site.

She was widely known in the community as one of the founding members of the Rochester Area Women’s Fund. She also volunteered with the North Oakland YMCS Supporting Military Families.

“Just shock,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett told FOX 2 Detroit of his emotions following Kirken’s death. “There are few people in the community that you think of that are absolute treasures and Carol is one of those in our community.”

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