EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – 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-wishers have sent their condolences to the woman who was described by many as a pillar of her community.
The 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.