Kenya: How 70-Year-Old Laikipia Man Fought Off Hyenas to Rescue Wife

17 February 2019

Nyahururu — A Laikipia couple is seeking compensation from the Government after a hyena seriously injured the two and killed their son at Leleshwa village in Ol-Moran Ward last week.

70-year-old Benard Ngure sustained injuries in his arms and leg while trying to rescue his son and wife Mary Wambui who is currently at Nyahururu County and Referral Hospital with head, face and limb injuries.

Ngure narrated to Capital FM News how he fought off the hyena on 11 February at their home in Sopili area after it had already killed his son on his way to school.

He recounted how he wrestled a hyena in the 5 a.m incident though he initially thought it's one of the neighbour's dogs that had attacked his wife.

"I just prayed and asked God to help me then run outside and jumped on the hyena and I strangled it. I then got hold of its tongue and pulled it," said the elderly farmer, who adds that he sustained serious scratches as the hyena made frantic efforts to rescue itself.

Screams from Wambui - who lost a finger in the attack - attracted the neighbours who came out with machetes and attacked the hyena, but it managed to escape.

Sadly, the hyenas had already mauled their 11-year-old son David Ndungu with doctors at the hospital claiming what was left was only 30 percent of his body.

"My husband and I have been immobilized by the animal and we have lost a son. We want the government to compensate us because we can't take care of our other children," said Wambui.

The family is also appealing to people of goodwill to come to their help since they have been left helpless and may not be able to undertake their day-to-day activity.

A game warden in Nyahururu who sought anonymity since he is not allowed to speak to the press however advised against attacking hyenas when they are eating, "because they are ruthless while feeding and can even kill each other."

"Don't run or turn your back to it. Make loud noise or try to make yourself bigger, this may force it to run away. If you have no weapon, fight it back by punching or kicking it and don't carry food as they can smell it," said the warden.

Laikipia is one of the counties that has a high wildlife-human conflict with elephants known to cause damage to property and crops.

Kenya Wildlife Service is obligated by law to compensate people who have either lost loved ones, injured or loss of property due to attacks by wild animals.

Victims are required to claim compensation from the County Wildlife Compensation Committee with family members of a deceased victim getting Sh5 million while permanent disability victims get Sh3 million.

KWS pay up to Sh2 million for other injuries.

Earlier in February this year, A Nairobi court ordered a hotel in Naivasha to pay Sh25 million compensation to a Chinese tourist killed by a hippo.

Sun Africa Hotel Limited was ordered to pay compensation for Luo Yi--a young female tourist killed in 2013, while on holiday.

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