Residents in villages infested by hyenas and other destructive wild animals in Lamu County have accused the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) of laxity in fighting and ending the ever increasing human-wildlife conflict in the region.
Speaking to Opera News Hub on Monday, residents expressed disappointment that despite the numerous efforts to report the matter to the KWS, nothing has so far been done to stop or minimize the existing problem.
The scavengers are reported to have developed a bold character of scouring house by house daily in such of food, majorly cows, donkeys, goats, ship, chicken, ducks and even eggs.
Mr Karisa Charo, a resident of Sendemke in Witu said the hyenas sometimes attack cats and dogs provided they get something to it.
“Tens of cows, donkeys, goats, ship, cats and dogs have either been killed or injured by the hyenas within the few weeks that have passed. We’ve been reporting the cases to KWS but unfortunately, they don’t visit our villages and assess the situation. The problem is still intact,” said Mr Charo.
Masha Iha who is the Senior Headman in Moa Sub-Location in Witu Division pleaded with KWS to quickly intervene and contain the situation since their livestock continue to be attacked by the hungry hyenas day and night.
“These notorious hyenas are too many and just hang around our villages day and night while looking for our livestock. We call on the KWS to urgently intervene and contain the scavengers or else human beings, particularly babies will also become a target by those animals,” said Mr Iha.
Mrs Naima Musa, a resident of Witu asked the KWS to compensate them for all the livestock killed by the hyenas.
“We’ve been complaining of these hyena gangs invading our villages for the last two years. The KWS officers keep on promising that they would visit our villages and chase the wildlife but nothing has been done so far. Let them compensate us since our livestock are being finished,” said Mrs Musa.
Contacted, Lamu KWS Senior Warden Mathias Mwavita advised locals to desist from establishing settlements in areas considered to be routes used by wild animals.
Mr Mwavita however promised to deploy a team of officers to all the affected villages to hunt down the hyenas feasting on the livestock.
“I will be sending officers to Witu to look for those hyenas. I call for patience from locals. I also advise them to stop clearing bushes meant to be wildlife habitats and turn them into human settlements,” said Mr Mwavita.
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