The Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was shot at her Kenyan ranch and airlifted for treatment after herders invaded in search of pasture to save their animals from drought, officials said Sunday. Gallmann, known for her bestselling book I Dreamed of Africa, which became a movie by the same name starring Kim Basinger, was patrolling the ranch in Laikipia when she was shot in the stomach, says a local police chief. The 73-year-old Gallmann had been with rangers assessing damage done to her property; lodges belonging to Gallmann were burned by the herders last month. She was airlifted to the capital, Nairobi; a family member reportedly said Gallmann is in stable condition after surgery but had serious injuries.
The AP reports the East African nation is facing a drought that has affected half the country and has been declared a national disaster. The BBC reports it's believed tens of thousands of cattle have been pushed onto private lands; Laikipia's roughly 4,000 square miles are home to some of Kenya's biggest white landowners. NPR's Eyder Peralta described the situation like so: As nomadic herders have moved in, "the Kenyan government launched a military-style operation to push the herders out. But what we've seen is an escalation of violence. Police have killed lots of cows. And the herders have responded by burning tourist lodges on the properties." (Read more Kenya stories.)