[KENYA] Hyenas feast on donkeys, dogs and cats as attacks escalate in Lamu

Residents of Witu in West are a worried lot after an invasion of in their villages.

The scavengers move from house to house in search of livestock, chicken and ducks to on.

In a bizarre twist, they are now also pouncing on and dog.

Residents of Moa, Dide Waride, Katsaka Kairu, Maleli, Sendemke, Taa, Jipendeni and Kitumbini villages are worried that the animals might turn to small children.

They want the Wildlife Service to act fast and contain the insatiable animals.

More than 300 cows, goats, sheep, , cats and have been killed by the hyenas in the last two months. Others have suffered bite wounds.

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Residents have accused the KWS of failing to act despite receiving reports.

Moa sub-location headman Masha Iha said the KWS is aware of the worsening situation, but have turned a deaf ear to their pleas for help.

“I can’t remember a night that has passed without hyenas attacking homes in the recent past. Initially, they attacked donkeys only, but now, our livestock is in danger,” he said.

“We were shocked when we recently discovered that cats and dogs are not being spared. It’s obvious that they are getting bolder. Our women leave babies sleeping in their huts as they go about their duties. We are concerned that these animals will start eating them,” Iha said.

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Witu is home to thousands of herder communities who include the Orma, Somali and Sanye.

Many herders have complained that they have lost their livestock to the hyenas. They have threatened to kill the animals if the KWS continues remaining silent.

The herders are demanding compensation from the KWS.

Andan Godana, who has lost 50 goats from last November, said that is the biggest loss he has ever suffered as a herder.

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“I have lost so much. We shall not stomach this anymore, that’s why we are joining hands to hunt down and kill these hyenas if no one does anything soon. We must also be compensated for the animals we have lost,” he said.

Lamu county senior KWS warden Mathias Mwavita said there could be some truth in the reports of hyena because the affected villages border bushy areas.

He denied residents of Witu had reported to his office. He said he is only aware of the cases in Matondoni and Mokowe villages.

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Mwavita said a team has been dispatched to assess the situation and hunt down the hyenas.

“I’m not aware of the attacks in Witu. We have only received reports from Mokowe and Matondoni where hyenas have been attacking donkeys. We have set up traps to capture the animals. None has been caught. Let’s be patient,” he said.

He cautioned residents not to hunt down the hyenas, saying it is dangerous.

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