Escaped hyena causes panic in Nigerian city


A hyena showing its teeth and tongue.

A zoo worker says hyenas are afraid of people and often defecate when they are scared (stock photo) (Getty Images)

A hyena has escaped from a wildlife park in the central Nigerian city of Jos.

Concerned residents have been assured by the state tourism board that drones and park rangers are being used to search for the animal.

It is unclear how the hyena escaped from the Jos Wildlife Park, but according to the tourist board the animal was in a cage.

A zoo official told the BBC that the hyena is unlikely to attack humans.

“Hyenas are very afraid of people. The animals run away rather than attack,” says Abba Gandu, who works at the Kano Zoo in the north of the country and has worked with lions and hyenas for 50 years.

“Normally it poops out when it’s scared and I foresee that happening when people can finally get to it.”

But many people in Jos are still afraid.

Resident Hamisu Bala told the BBC that people living near the game park are particularly concerned about encountering the hyena.

It is not new for wild animals to escape in Nigeria.

In 2015, a four-year-old lion was shot dead after escaping from the same park.

Police said at the time that the lion behaved aggressively when they tried to return him to his enclosure, and he was put down before he could harm anyone.

In nearby Kano state, a lion also escaped in 2019 when rangers tried to put it back in a cage after it attended a national agricultural show.

After hours of searching it was found.

Official of Jos Wildlife Park in NigeriaOfficial of Jos Wildlife Park in Nigeria

Park officials are searching for the missing hyena (Plateau State Tourism Corporation)

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