Several residents of Chigaga section of Katete District in Eastern Province are living in fear because of a hyena that is prowling the area in the night.
One of the affected residents Kondanani Njobvu confirmed that for the past one week, a hyena has been howling and scratching the door to his house while in the morning footprints of the animal have been found around his premises.
Narrating the bizarre experience, Mr Njobvu said at first he did not believe that there was a creature roaming about his premises when his nephew told him about the hyena because he was not at home on the first sighting of the animal.
Mr Njobvu said upon hearing the horror that his nephew experienced, he inspected his surroundings just to confirm that his nephew was not hallucinating.
“I personally have seen the footprints of the hyena at my house. Even today (yesterday), I have found fresh footprints of the animal,” he said.
ZANIS reports that another resident Sarah Phiri has confirmed living in terror after sighting a hyena at his home.
Ms Phiri narrated that she and her child have been spending sleepless nights in fear, saying the hyena has been howling and making funky laugh-like noises.
She said at first she doubted that it could be a hyena, but after paying further attention she came to a conclusion that it was.
“I first heard it on Thursday 11 February 2021 at night, it was making noise from the nearby unused hammer mill house. That day I and my baby could not sleep, we were scared,” she said.
Another terrified resident Enoch Tembo who lives near Ms Phiri’s house also narrated that he failed to sleep because of the animal’s noise.
Katete District National Parks and Wildlife In-Charge Chilenga Nkhoma has confirmed the presence of a stray hyena and identified the footprints as that of the animal from the sites where residents reported sighting the animal. “I have been to the site twice and I can confirm that the footprints are for a hyena,” he said.
However, he wondered how and why the hyena was in the middle of an urban residential area and its footprints were mainly found at three houses.
The animal was first heard on the 11th of February and has continued to terrorize the residents with its unsettling laugh like noises. However, some stories doing rounds are that the hyena could be black magic associated with the death of a man who recently died of COVID 19 in Chigaga section of Katete.