Thursday, August 23, 2007


A little off topic, but not if your a balloon pilot in Africa. The third time I have heard of this happening and a reminder to parents who when on safari let there children run everywhere. Believe me I have been amazed at how dumb tourists are around wild animals. Sometimes I think that because animals are in camp they must be tame.

Although in this case it looks like the reserve has some problem Hyenas that are very habituated, I bet they have been fed from theh camp fire.

There was a court case when the boy was killed (see further down) no doubt there will be another

South Africa
Hyena drags girl, 8, from campfire
2007-8-23 07:29
Johannesburg - An eight-year-old girl of Clynton in Johannesburg will have to have reconstructive surgery after being attacked by a spotted hyena in a Botswana nature reserve.

Christin Chalwin-Milton was sleeping on a chair next to her tour group's campfire at Third Bridge camp, Moremi Naature Reserve, at about 21:00 last Thursday when the scavenger attacked her from behind, grabbing the left side of her head.

Ralph Chalwin-Milton, Christin's father, said on Wednesday at the Sandton Medi-Clinic where she's recuperating that at first he thought her chair was falling over and ran towards her.

When he saw she was being dragged off , he realised that a hyena had his child in its jaws.

Chalwin-Milton stormed at the animal shouting, and scared it off.

"I could see immediately that she was seriously injured," he said.

The hyena tore Christin's head open from her eye to behind her ear, and ripped her left ear off.

Chalwin Milton picked the ear up off the ground and put it on ice.

They tried to get hold of a helicopter to fly Christin to Maun, but didn't succeed.

Chalwin Milton then rushed her to hospital in his own 4x4 vehicle.

"She was on the front seat and a tour guide, Tshonolo Moje of Karibu Safari, sat behind me and showed me the way," he explained.

"About 40 km from Maun we met up with the ambulance and an emergency service worker also climbed into my vehicle and started treatment. The ambulance followed us all the way to Maun."

Christin was first treated at the state hospital in Maun against rabies and tetanus, and then transferred to the private hospital.

Chalwin-Milton says the family realises how lucky Christin really is.

"One doesn't easily survive being bitten by a hyena."

Christin's ear can be reconstructed but all her facial muscles and nerves, as well as her hearing and sight have been impaired.

Chalwin-Milton said in spite of the attack they were "still crazy about the Botswana bush".

"We know about the dangers of the bush. It was just a freak accident," Chalwin-Milton emphasised.

"People just have to realise that they must be very alert (in the bush).

"We're paranoid, alert parents and it still happened to us."

Safari operators in Botswana said they were very concerned that tourists were feeding wild animals in nature reserves. The camps at Moremi are not fenced.

"We feel it's a tragedy that people feed the wild animals, because the result is that the animals get too used to humans and have to be put down," Chalwin-Milton said.

A 12-year-old American boy was bitten to death in his tent by hyenas in the same nature reserve in 2000.

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