At least five children have been killed and eaten by hyenas in Tanzania’s Nyang’wale district in Geita region, an official said on Wednesday.

Hamimu Gwiyama, Nyang’wale district commissioner, said the hyenas raided residential areas, killed and ate the children between January and mid-March. He said some residents in the districts have located to hills dotting the district which is the main habitats for the wild animals. “They are staying on the hills spending sleepless nights in search of the hyenas,” said Gwiyama.

He said the district had no wildlife experts that would have helped to kill the hyenas that have been wreaking havoc to some parts of the district since last year. “The situation is much more complicated when some residents in the district attach the killings to superstitious beliefs,” said the official.

Gwiyama said district authorities have been requesting Geita regional authorities to dispatch wildlife officials to chase away the hyenas but no help was coming on their way. Pira Robert, Nyang’wale ward official, said the hyenas were provoked by residents who have encroached the hills for residential and farming activities.

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