“If you meet a hyena, talk to it”: what the original warning from the Kenya Wildlife Service means

For us Europeans, the idea of meet a hyena It may be a far-fetched idea, but it could be a concrete possibility for the African population or for tourists heading to Kenya. That’s the reason why Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the national parks and conservation agency of Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, has published seven helpful rules in case of a close encounter with one of these predators.

Among these, that of talk to the animal. “If you came face to face with a hyena do not run or turn your back on the animaldon’t even crouch on the ground, rather maintain your position and try to appear big and aggressive, keep calm and Talk to her until she leaves. And in case he doesn’t leave, make some louder and more menacing sound”. These are some of the cues KWS is giving to raise awareness among the population, especially in rural areas of the country where there are numerous cases of attacks, some even fatal, by these carnivores.

However, the idea of ​​”talking to hyenas” was not taken seriously by web users, who took to social media en masse to express themselves in an ironic manner.

In any case, KWS repeated it running away from a predator is always bad, “because they will probably start chasing the animal that runs away, as it is in their nature” and by doing this in front of the hyena, they will understand that we are potential prey and that we are afraid of it. A hyena can also run away maximum speed approx. 65 km/h and has considerable resistance, so running away would prove an unlikely solution. Instead, “if the position is maintained – the Kenya Wildlife Service explains – the animals could move away without causing any damage”

However, in its originality, the KWS announcement brought to light one of Kenya’s current problems conflict between humans and wild animals. Recently, there have been several cases of hyena attacks, especially in the rural areas where they are found some children and teenagers died on the way between home and school. This problem is especially present in areas adjacent to parks and nature reserves, where accidents are not only caused by hyenas. On the other hand, it’s the animals’ turn endangered poachers and from the poor conditions of the population, they returned to hunting some wild herbivores to sell their meat, passing it off as the meat of farmed animals.

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