Hyena bites elderly KZN woman’s face

2007-12-22 00:00

AN elderly Vryheid woman is in hospital after she was bitten on the head by a hyena at Sabie Sand in Mpumalanga.

The animal attacked Alie Nel (83) as she lay in bed at her family’s farm at about 11.30 pm on Thursday night.

A family friend said Nel’s daughter-in-law, Jane, was showering in a room a few steps from the main house when she heard her screams.

When she got to the house, another of the guests was already busy treating the wound on Alie Nel’s face.

The hyena apparently slipped in the open door of the house and walked past several bedrooms before entering Nel’s room and attacking her as she slept.

“The animal was still standing over her with her head in its jaws when people rushed in,” said the friend.

The hyena fled from the house.

Nel has a deep wound on her forehead, from above her left eye to her left ear, where the hyena’s top teeth ripped through her skin.

There are also two wounds on the right side of her face, where the animal’s bottom teeth pierced her.

Jane Nel said the farm, inside the Sabie Sand game reserve, has been in the family for many years.

“We come here every year for the holidays and it’s the first time we have experienced something like this,” she said.

Alie Nel was taken to the Nelspruit MediClinic for treatment, and then transferred by ambulance to Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital, where she was set to undergo plastic surgery last night.

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