What You Should Have Been Told About Hyenas

Over the past few days, discussions have emerged on how to interact with hyenas following a statement from the Kenya Wildlife Service advising people to speak gently to these animals.

Growing up, I\’ve had close encounters with hyenas in the village. While we never faced them head-on, I in many times chased them into the hill in the company of a dog and a few other people.

Hyenas pose a significant threat to villagers with livestock. Shepherds must be cautious, ensuring all goats and sheep, especially the pregnant, young or injured ones, are safely brought back home. Strong cow sheds are constructed for protection.

In our community, there\’s a belief that hyenas are cowards. That they suffer from diarrhea when they see torchlight. Described as ugly with a peculiar walking style due to their long hands and short feet as if they are seated, hyenas are considered less formidable.

Hyenas, oddly, laugh like people—hahaha, hihihihi, eeeii huuuu! On moonlit nights, they stroll with their children, playing in compounds without dogs and daring men.

A story has it that some hyenas are not real but people with ritual powers to transform into various creatures. On a path where a hyena passed, if you see one side resembling a paw and the other a palm, that could be a hungry villager looking for food. They are known as a Mbiti-Mùndù (Hyena-Man). Before 5am, they revert to normal by jumping over things several times. Although there are tales of failed attempts.

Recall the proverbial story of a hyena torn between two roads, enticed by the smell of soup. It nearly burst its center.

To deter hyenas, lighting a fire near where livestock sleep makes them think there are people, and building scarecrows to capitalize on their fear of light and aversion to direct eye contact.

However, hyenas can be dangerous, more than team mafisi. Hyena faeces look white indicating their ability to consume flesh down to the bone, grinding it like wheat flour. It\’s warned that hyena teeth, not separated, form a single sharp bone. The worst scenario arises when they have rabies, inducing madness and potentially turning a village crazy.

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3 Responses

  1. Mbiti mwoni 😂😂

    Best Regards,

    PETER MWANGANGI MANI PRESIDENT AND CHAIRPERSON MAKUENI UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (MUSA 2022’24) AND STUDENTS ASSOCIATION OF THE TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF KENYA(SATUK 2021’22) RESPECTIVELY. 4th year Student of electrical and electronic engineering at Technical University of Kenya. CEO and founder TUK electrical Self Help Group. Technical University of Kenya

    P. O. Box 52428 – 00200


    Mobile: 0790440234

    Through Prayer and Determination everything is Assured.

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