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rabid hyena update

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  • Christine Chumbler
    Malawi police guard against terror beast Panic stricken Malawian villagers who fled their homes in fear of attacks by a mysterious wild beast have returned
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2003
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      Malawi police guard against 'terror beast'

      Panic stricken Malawian
      villagers who fled their homes
      in fear of attacks by a
      mysterious wild beast have
      returned home under armed
      protection.

      At least 4,000 people left four
      villages in the central Dowa
      district, some 100 km from the
      capital Lilongwe, last week when
      the wild animal, suspected to be
      a rabid hyena, killed at least three people and
      severely injured
      16 others.

      Police told the French news agency, AFP, that dozens
      of security
      officers have been deployed in villages to "safeguard
      peoples
      lives".

      The rampaging beast roaming the mountainous region has
      still
      not been caught.

      But police say some officers are assisting game
      keepers in the
      search of the suspected hyena.

      Crushed skulls

      Parks and Wildlife Officer Leonard Sefu had said his
      department
      was examining the maimed people to establish what the
      animal
      could be.

      Dr Matius Joshua, the Dowa District Health Officer,
      had said that
      two elderly women and a three-year-old baby died when
      the
      beast crushed their skulls and ate their intestines
      and private
      parts.

      Dr Joshua said the 16 victims
      admitted into hospital following
      the latest attacks sustained
      various appalling injuries with
      some of them completely maimed
      and disfigured.

      He said some of them lost both
      legs and hands while two have
      lost both ears and eyes to the
      beast.

      One woman lost her mouth and nose.

      Witchcraft

      In August last year another mystery beast killed five
      people and
      maimed over 20 others before game rangers and
      para-military
      police managed to gun it down.

      Parks and Wildlife officials identified the slain
      beast as a rabid
      hyena but residents disputed this, saying hyenas
      normally have
      shorter hind limbs.

      Morgan Amoni, 30, who came close to the current beast,
      believes
      it is the same beast that was shot dead last year
      which has
      returned to exact revenge on the people.

      He has been at Lilongwe Central Hospital looking after
      his father
      - one of the victims referred to the hospital.

      In recent months, wild animals including lions have
      attacked
      people in villages or those living near game parks.
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