Director of Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa has assured people from Traditional Authority Phambala in Ntcheu where hyenas killed a woman and injured four children on December 2 last year that they will soon re-deploy rangers to hunt down hyenas that have been terrorising about 14 villages in the area.
He reacted to a complaint by group village head Thala from the area who earlier in the week indicated that people feel neglected as rangers who were deployed to deal with the hyenas soon after the incident had spent only three days in the area.
Thala said: “The rangers stayed only for three days and disappeared. They have since not retained and we are living in fear, much as there has not been any attack on human beings we are losing our livestock on a daily basis. Just last night, my close neighbour’s pig was attacked and killed by the hyenas, we appeal that they come back to protect us.”
Kumchedwa in an interview yesterday cited financial challenges as some of the reasons for the pulling out of the rangers in the area.
“The rangers need food, shelter and transport, all this need money which we do not have right now. But let the people be assured that we have their welfare at heart and we are doing everything possible to make sure that rangers are re-deployed to guarantee safety of people and domestic animals in the area,” he assured.
Kumchedwa could not confirm beliefs by some villagers suggesting there is magic connected to the hyenas, saying “according to us, the hyenas are original”.
Stories about hyenas terrorising people and animals in Ntcheu became more common in the 1990s.