African Church Information Service (Nairobi)

14 April 2003

Malawi: Calm Returns to Dowa But Strange Beast is Still At Large

Dowa — Officials in Dowa town say an unidentified beast that killed three people and injured 16 others several weeks ago is still at large, but the situation has normalised.

According to Dowa District Commissioner, Charles Kalemba, game rangers who are still patrolling the area captured a baby hyena, suggesting that the marauding beast could either have been a female hyena that had just given birth, or a rabid one.

Kalemba accused the press of drumming up the issue, saying the beast had attacked the area on a single night, and not as reported by the media that there were persistent attacks.

The beast had terrorised villages of Toto, Kalinda, Mbonyela, and Chatambalala, under Traditional Authority Chiwere, displacing over 4,000 people, who sought refuge at nearby schools and government offices for a period of about two weeks. (see AANA Bulletin No. 11/03, of March 24 ,features section). The people have since returned to their homes.

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