Nakuru: KWS officers spring into action after residents spot hyena cub in Miraa shop

Residents of Sewarage area in Rhonda Estate, Nakuru town, woke up to news of a hyena on the loose that was found hiding in a miraa shop. Dozens of residents gathered around the stall to see the stray animal, which was shyly hiding under a shop counter.

Outside the shop, dozens of excited townsfolk crowded around the entrance to the miraa shop to get a glimpse of the wild animal, which had strayed from Lake Nakuru National Park and seemed stressed by the presence of the large and rowdy crowd.

Fredrick Wamungu, the owner of the stall, says his business has been affected by the wild animal’s incursion, which brought the centre to a standstill.

“I closed my miraa shop yesterday at 8pm after finishing my stock. But this morning I was called and informed that there was a hyena in my shop counter. Said Wamungu.

Rosemary Wandia, another resident, said they were glad the animal did not harm anyone, especially school children and business people who usually get up early in the morning.

“We are happy that no one was harmed by this animal because we heard it howling in the middle of the night.” Wandia said.

Kenya Wildlife Service officers had a hard time dispersing the crowd who wanted to kill the animal and sell its parts. According to Samuel Kamau, a resident of the area, this is not the first time hyenas have been found in the area.

“The first time it came, we saw it and let them (KWS) catch it and take it back to the park,” said Kamau.

He and dozens of other youths wanted to sell the animal’s organs, inspired by former Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoya’s claims during campaigns that one of the organs could fetch up to Ksh 6 million.

“We should not allow this animal to be released back into the wild, let the chief have his share and the rest of us have our share. Why should the Nyumba Kumi elders stop us from taking this animal?” added Kamau.

Residents of the area have called on the Kenya Wildlife Service to install electric fences along Lake Nakuru National Park to prevent the animals from crossing into public land.

There has been a recent increase in hyena attacks on people and livestock, which Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has blamed on overpopulation of wild animals.

In a statement, the tourism CS said the animals had increased in numbers after feasting on the carcasses of other animals that died due to drought during the dry season.

Some of the reasons cited by the KWS service for the increase in attacks include abandoned quarries, improper disposal of animal remains that attract the deadly scavengers, open garbage dumps and abandoned land with bush and thickets, among others.

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