Adelaide Moyo Chronicle Reporter
A FAMILY from Mkhosana suburb in Victoria Falls was on Friday night visited by an unlikely guest — a hyena scavenging for food. The family had to call for help from neighbours who killed the hyena with an axe. Neighbours rushed to the house at around 8PM when they heard a man only identified as Mandla screaming after finding the hyena in his yard.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority rangers took away the dead predator, more than an hour after its fatal foray over a precast wall into the yard. A Chronicle crew visited the house in Mfelandawonye section of Mkhosana suburb on Saturday morning and it was deserted.
However, residents said the hyena was believed to be one of the problem animals that had terrorised residents, killing and eating dogs and chickens. Some associated it with witchcraft and claimed that the man who had axed it started behaving in a weird way.
The claim could not be verified immediately. “We heard someone screaming and we rushed and found Mandla who told us that a hyena had entered a yard. We raised alarm and more neighbours came immediately. We started throwing stones at the hyena and a resident armed himself with an axe and tiptoed closer to it and struck it,” said Khulani Dube, a neighbour.
Another resident, Zenzo Msimanga appealed to rangers to drive away wild animals as they were putting people’s lives in danger. Ward 11 councillor, Edmore Zhou said he had received numerous reports of wild animals, especially hyenas, roaming the streets at night.
He said many residents had lost their dogs and chickens as the animals strayed into their properties scavenging for food in rubbish bins. “We’ve reported these cases to Parks and Wildlife Authorities but nothing has been done despite the escalating human-wild animal conflict. The hyenas are problematic to us as residents as they make noise almost daily at night. Something needs to be done because we can’t wait until they kill someone,” Clr Zhou said.
“People are scared of doing their business especially early in the morning and at night while most people have lost their dogs. The streets are dirty because the wild animals, including hyenas, scavenge for food in rubbish bins.”
Late last year, residents from the same suburb jostled to have a piece of elephant meat after rangers gunned down a problem jumbo that had caused havoc, eating groceries and fruits from tuck shops.
Jumbos have occasionally also destroyed tuck-shops, precast walls, water taps and meters in the resort town. Comment could not be obtained immediately from Zimparks spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo yesterday.