Hyena attacks in Adhiaddeye settlement, 32 km northwest of Lasanod, have left three children dead and five adults wounded, according to local reports.
Local residents said confrontations between the wild animals and people had increased after villagers began hunting the hyenas. It is said that hyena meat can cure a number of illnesses including diabetes, whooping cough, hypertension and even mental illness.
Halima Abdi Adan, a mother of four, living on the outskirts of Adhiaddeye, lost her three-year-old daughter to a hyena attack on 6 June.
Speaking to Radio Ergo’s local reporter, Halima described the attack: “It happened at 7pm a short while after I put my daughter to sleep outside the house. As I was helping my husband in the animal pen, I heard her screaming. I rushed over and found her being mauled by a hyena. I snatched a rifle that was near me to kill the animal but the gun didn’t fire on several occasions. My husband chased the hyena trying to rescue our daughter [from its mouth], but it ended in vain. He returned home without the girl. I fainted with the shock.”
The family later found parts of the child’s body in the bush.
Another parent, Ali Abdi Adan, described a similar attack on his son, also aged three.
“I tried to save my child from the wild animal, but after a battle that lasted for over an hour, the beast managed to disappear into a cave where it fed on my child,” he said.
Abdihakin Hurre Jibril, a resident of Adhiaddeye, told Radio Ergo that attacks by hyenas had become widespread over the past three years, ever since local people started hunting the animals for meat.
“Hyenas in the area did not used to attack people before this…the menace started only after they [the animals] started being attacked,” he said.
Abdihakin said one kilogram of hyena meat was being sold at 50 to 150 dollars.