Recently there have been a number of concerns raised over changing hyena and baboon behaviour in camp. This appears to be as a result of an increase in the general feeding of animals.
Neither species show any fear/caution towards humans.
Warthogs feeding on the pool lawns should not be approached. In January, a hyena bit an adult male on his back whilst he was sitting on his patio having dinner. Why does a hyena display this type of behaviour and why are hyenas insistent on hanging around bungalow patios and humans? It is because people choose to feed them. It is a question of time before there is a serious or fatal incident.
Please, do not feed the animals!
I quote a Member reporting her experience during January 2013:
“I thought I would let you know that we had two very nasty incidents with hyena in the evening at our bungalow. On both occasions, the hyena showed absolutely no fear, aggressively running at us and on one occasion, grabbing the arm of a chair right where we were sitting. When we shouted and made a big racket it did not back off and appeared even more agitated by the noise.
They were both very unpleasant incidents and it is the first time after 30 years at Ingwelala that we have felt really threatened by their behaviour. It made our evening braais very anxious affairs and, in fact, on the 3rd night we gave up and ate dinner inside. The visitors we had with us were particularly shaken and they are seasoned campers and travellers through Africa!
I know that the source of the problem is people feeding the hyenas but is it really going to take a fatal incident to sort out the problem? Can Ingwelala not institute more serious fines for members who are guilty of this ridiculous behaviour? It seems such a pity that a few members are spoiling it for the rest of us”.
The responsibility rests with each of us to ensure that animals are not fed. Hyenas, baboons and monkey, as long as they have easy access to food will continue to be problematic in camp. Will it take a fatal accident to attract our attention to stop feeding the animals? Are you prepared to help put an end to this - and report (with hard evidence) any neighbours feeding the animals?
Sadly, at the end of the day, somebody gets hurt and there is pressure to put the animal down. Personally I have never understood the purpose of feeding animals or the so-called thrill of watching hyenas fighting over a chop bone.
by John Llewellyn.