New Era (Windhoek)

15 June 2012

Namibia: Unknown Creature Attacks Children

Two children from Eenghala village in Oshana Region allegedly became the latest victims of an unknown creature as stories about its presence continue to spread in the north.

A three-year-old boy and her 15-year-old aunt are said to have sustained bite and scratch wounds to the shoulder and thigh respectively. The wounds that are not completely healed are allegedly results of the attack.

Relating the ordeal, Erastus Hofeni, the victims' elder brother, said he had just arrived home from work one evening when he heard his three-year-old nephew, Silas Etuhole Shikudule screaming.

"He was screaming saying that he was getting bitten by a dog. My younger 15-year-old sister Asnath [Hofeni] ran to his rescue and started chasing after a dog-like creature. I also chased after it. Then it turned around and attacked Asnath and bit her on the upper thigh," said Erastus Hofeni.

According to Erastus Hofeni, after the creature bit Asnath Hofeni, he managed to catch up with it and hacked it with a panga.

"It fell to the ground and I killed it with a stick," said Erastus Hofeni.

Asnath Hofeni and her nephew were rushed to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, where they were treated for the bites and scratch wounds.

"My daughter's leg was badly swollen and I was scared it would have to be amputated. But God is great, here we are, she is fine now and the leg is no longer swollen. We are just going to hear what the doctor has to say today, because both children are going for a follow-up," said mother Asnath Hofeni (senior).

According to Erastus Hofeni, the "strange" creature looked like a dog from a distance. However, its jaws and characteristics were totally different from that of a dog.

"No dog runs that slow, it did not make any sound when I beat it or when it bit the children. It was just quiet. It had a double row of teeth with canine-like teeth sticking out of the mouth and it had very long claws," explained Erastus Hofeni.

However, Chief Warden for the Northern Regions Chrispin Nkokwena was adamant that the unidentified creature was a dog.

Nkokwena said nature conservation officials who were dispatched to Hofeni's residence examined the animal and "confirmed that it is a domesticated dog".

This is the second incident in which a child is hurt by an unknown creature in the Oshana Region. A few years back a nine-year-old girl from the village of Okaku died a few days after an unidentified creature bit her.

The village of Eenghala where Hofeni's homestead is located, is the same village where Moses Cairo Hamukonda's chickens were all wiped out by an unknown creature in February.

Apart from Hamukonda's homestead, three dogs that were initially labelled as "mysterious creatures" were killed recently in Okatana village where they killed and only sucked blood from a few goats.

The owner of the dogs came forward to claim her dogs. In the case of the Hofeni family, a neighbour's son claimed that the dog that was killed was his, however his mother contradicted him and told the family that her son's dog was at home.

However, further tragedy struck the Hofeni family yesterday. News filtered through to New Era that the mother of the 15-year-old girl who was bitten on the leg by the "mysterious creature" in the latest attack, Asnath Hofeni (senior), died. The circumstances of the death of the mother were unknown, but have apparently set tongues wagging in the community.

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