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91-year-old woman killed by a hyena inside her kitchen

A 91-year old woman in Kajire area in Voi died Saturday night after a rogue hyena that had strayed from Tsavo East National Park attacked her as she prepared supper in her kitchen.
Her grandson, Justine Mbwangi, 37, sustained serious arms and legs injuries after wrestling with the beast after he responded to his grandmother’s calls for help.
Mbwangi managed to cling on the animal’s neck while the other family members screamed for help. The neighbors responded and hacked the animal to death before alerting the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officials.
The village is one of the many that borders the national park in the region.
The old woman’s body was moved to Moi County Referral Hospital morgue for postmortem. KWS officials took away the hyena’s body for more tests.
Ms. Caroline Mwalumbe, daughter to deceased, said the hyena was earlier sighted at a watering trough but because of the darkness, it was mistaken for a calf. It was only after it launched its brutal attack that the family realized their mistake.
“We ran inside the house and called the neighbors for help,” she tearfully narrated. However, weakened by age, her mother was too week to fight the animal.
The attack has sent shock waves across the region with villagers fearing more wild animals might be lurking in the bush that has thickened with the recent heavy rains.
Traditionally, the area is a flash-point for conflict between residents and wildlife due to its proximity to the national park. It is also considered as a migration corridor for elephants as they move from Tsavo East National Park to Tsavo West.
Sagalla Ward Member of County Assembly Godwin Kilele termed the incident as tragic and said KWS needed to take responsibility over the matter.
He added that reports of conflicts were common in the area and KWS was not doing enough to shield the residents and their property from destruction by the wild animals.
In 2017, a woman in the same village was killed by a rogue elephant which attacked her outside her house at night.
In another incident, last year in April, a stray lion killed a 12-year old girl in Maungu area in Voi.
“We need KWS to recruit community scouts to be able to respond quickly and offer the much needed help when such cases happen,” said the ward representative.
By Wagema Mwangi

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