Students of Multimedia University on Tuesday morning protested by blocking Magadi Road after a student in the institution was attacked and injured by a hyena on Monday evening.
The protest caught many motorists unaware, forcing them to seek alternative routes through Gatanga Road.
The students, in their hundreds, blocked the road, hurled rocks, and set bonfires along the busy stretch while demanding answers from the Kenya Wild Services (KWS) over the incident.
The 21-year-old student, identified as Kelvin Mwenda, was attacked by the hyena along Masai Lodge Road, Olekasasi area around 8pm.
“Stephen Romo, who is a resident of Olmeut village, rushed to rescue him and sustained very severe injuries. The two are currently at Wama Nursing Home Hospital receiving treatment,” police said in a statement.
The two were rushed to the hospital by a KWS van after the incident. The student lost a thump and his right eye.
The attack comes exactly a month after a pack of hyenas mauled a 10-year-old boy to death in Gwa Kigwi village in Juja, Kiambu County.
Dennis Teya, a grade four pupil, was said to have been walking home with his friends when they were attacked by the hyenas.
According to residents, the other boys managed to flee from the hyenas but the 10-year-old was overpowered by the wild animals.
KWS has since launched Operation Ondoa Fisi following complaints of repeated hyena attacks.
Last month, KWS cautioned the public on how to deal with potential hyena attacks.
In a statement on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, KWS said hyenas are generally lazy and prefer scavenging for easy meals, such as dead meat, rather than actively hunting prey.
According to the KWS, hyenas play a crucial role in the ecosystem as scavengers, helping to clean the environment by disposing of discarded bones and debris, thereby preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases.
KWS also said hyenas can attack humans in case of a random encounter.
By use of an illustrational graphic, KWS laid out at least seven things one should do in case of an attack from a hyena.
First, KWS suggested that one should not run as they risk inviting a chase from the predator. Secondly, they reminded the public not to lie down or pretend to be asleep so as not to arouse the animal's curiosity.
Additionally, at the threat of a hyena attack, KWS said one should 'remain calm', show no fear and talk to the hyena.
In between standing their ground and walking away while facing the animal, the public was also told to make loud, aggressive noises as a way of feigning an attack.
According to KWS, this is what to do if you encounter a hyena:
- Stop, don't run. As a predator, it will instinctively chase animals that run away.
- Don't lie down or pretend to be dead as this will increase its curiosity.
- Try not to show your fear, keep yourself calm by talking to it.
- If it growls or giggles, stand your ground - never run away but don't move any closer.
- Make a loud noise, and look aggressive and frightening as if you are going to attack.
- Hyenas are nocturnal animals, so minimise movements at night.
- Don't move away until the hyena does and when you do continue to face its direction.