KWS attributes recent hyena attacks in Kajiado, Kiambu to rabies

KWS attributes recent hyena attacks in Kajiado, Kiambu to rabies

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said that the recent human-wildlife conflicts that saw a number of people being attacked by hyenas in Kajiado, and Kiambu counties were prompted by rabies.

The communication from KWS says that the infected hyenas tend to behave aggressively towards humans, hence posing a danger to the members of the community if the appropriate measures are not taken immediately.

“Confirmation of rabies in the hyenas explains the unusual aggressive behaviour towards people that was witnessed in Juja and Kajiado. The general public in the affected localities, in particular, are advised to exercise caution as they go about their daily activities as the necessary measures are put in place to manage the situation,” KWS said in a statement.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease which can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.

The disease was confirmed following the tests that were carried out from the samples of three attacks, which turned out positive for rabies.

According to the studies, domestic dogs transmit up to 98 per cent of human rabies in East Africa, indicating that the best approach to control the spread of rabies is by mass vaccination of dogs which will lead to a reduction in spillover to human beings and wildlife.

One of the preventive measures that KWS has announced is to carry out amass vaccination exercises in the mentioned areas even as county governments are asked to implement preventive measures at the county level.

“KWS is working closely with the Directorate of Veterinary Services and county Governments of Kajiado and Kiambu to implement control measures that will mainly involve mass vaccination of dogs in the affected areas. The mass vaccination of dogs commenced today Thursday, February 15, 2024, at Rongai.”

Multimedia University students recently demonstrated and paralysed normal operation along the busy Magadi Road following the death of their colleague who was mauled by a hyena on February 5 and left another student with injuries.

Two more people were attacked by a hyena on Saturday, February 10, at Eselenkei, Kajiado County, and the following day, another incident was reported in Kalimoni, Juja where a hyena had strayed into his compound.