Hyena attacks boy in tent

2011-06-13 11:18

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal wildlife officials are investigating what caused a hyena to attack a 13-year-old pupil who was sleeping in a tent in a game reserve on Sunday.

"Our officials are investigating. We believe that it was attracted by food," said Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson, Maureen Zimu, on Monday.

She said sweets and chips had been found in the tent where Grade 7 pupil, Nicholas Hudson, was attacked. It is not clear whether the scavenger was attracted by the sweets and chips, as it is a carnivore.

Nicholas was among 40 Thomas More Senior Primary School pupils who camped at Sontuli Camp in Imfolozi Game Reserve.

Zimu said Hudson was bitten in the face and head while he was in the tent with other pupils. The animal had ripped the tent before attacking the teenager, she said.

"He was taken to the Bay Hospital where he underwent surgery. He is still in hospital," she said.

Zimu said it was believed the hyena stopped mauling the teenager when other pupils screamed for help. She said pupils and teachers had been warned not to keep food in their tents as that would attract animals.

  • MP3 - 2011-06-13 11:33

    I wonder if the permission slip the folks signed will indemnify the school from legal action from the folks. What a completely unnecessary event.

      Flinger - 2011-06-13 11:56

      You said "folks" too many time so I dont really understand what you are trying to get at. Try again?

      GT - 2011-06-13 12:19

      What queer response. Going on that trip is a lifetime experience that many have had the privilege of experiencing. This is a freak event, regardless of what forms were signed.

      Sickly - 2011-06-13 12:22

      Unnecessary event? what a chop, going to movies is an unnecessary event as well but if you get hit by a car would you say the same thing? the kids were probably having the time of there lives. But bad luck, for all you know the hyena was injured/old and just looking for food.

      motsokwane - 2011-06-13 15:49

      The animals are out there to kill the poachers.Awuuu!!!awuwu!!!awuwu!!! so sang the hyena after smelling the chips and the sweets.

      TheUgly - 2011-06-13 16:05

      I think the nature reserve should be sued. How can you let carnivores roam freely among children?

      brown_bread - 2011-06-13 16:26

      The Ugly, how can you let children roam freely around animals? It is a nature reserve, not a mall.

  • Badger - 2011-06-13 11:45

    "Lucky Kid" to still be alive.

  • zeekoevlei - 2011-06-13 11:48

    Having camped in Moremi many times in the past, the first rule is to never ever have any food with you in the tent, unless you want to be a hyena snack. Surely the guide should have known this, and told these kids.

      BoB - 2011-06-13 12:01

      Hoping the guide also told the hyenas not to attack kids who dont carry food.Welcome to the wild weird world.

      Marulaneng - 2011-06-13 12:02

      i dont understand this. i normally go camping and keep my food in the tent. or this a special camp? where are you supposed to keep your food then?

      chez - 2011-06-13 12:03

      finish reading the story - the ENTIRE story. yes the teachers and children were warned. perhaps the teachers should have checked on the pupils to make sure they understood. i think it was just s mistake, a child didn't take it seriously and is, after all, just a child.

      daaivark - 2011-06-13 12:28

      As far as one can tell from the article the children were warned. These things happen in the wild. If one chooses not to heed the warnings, well..... who's fault is that?

      Flee - 2011-06-13 12:38

      Totally Agree, I had a cooler box stashed under the Landie for safe keeping.. but dont know how this Hyena managed to get the box from under the car and totally demolish the thing.. can imagine if it was in the tent with us... WTF... Dont blame the hyena, but seriously hope the kid recovers well... Nature is unfortunately savage,,,,

      Queteepie - 2011-06-13 12:50

      Did you not read the story - it clearly says that they were informed not to have food in the tents!!!

      ET - 2011-06-13 15:24

      Since when do kids listen? Ask any parent. Hope the boy recovers well.

      S knot - 2011-06-13 15:36

      I wish a hyena would eet daaivark...a laughing hyena...he-he-he-he.

  • Cliff - 2011-06-13 11:51

    People forget these are WILD animals and they should take heed of warnings! These animals are scavengers as well as predators and are not to be underestimated. I really hope Nicholas recovers well.

      SJG2T - 2011-06-13 14:53

      Hi Cliff Update apparent reports that there was no warning re food across the board(all kids) from the authorities but despite that all the kids had were sweets not items to attract carnivores. They have been in the bush before so they know not to have that type of food on them or in the area. Nick still in hospital and sedated but stable

  • Drolpeer - 2011-06-13 11:52

    just please dont go and kill the poor hyena. Humans trespass on their territory, we must bare the consequences. Sad it happened, but if we invade, these things wil happen

  • Gorilla - 2011-06-13 11:54

    Problem seems to be that people who took these kids into the bush had little to no clue about how to spend a safe night in the bush with wild nocturnal scavengers in the area. Sue them into sense.

  • Caz - 2011-06-13 11:57

    Shame man, poor child, suppose they wont do the camping thing again!!! Hope the little fella get well soon!!

  • Robbie - 2011-06-13 11:59

    Carnivores eat people... what were they thinking camping in an exposed campsite?

  • kagisopheto - 2011-06-13 12:00

    they should lay a charge of assault against that hyena

  • Comrade Mike - 2011-06-13 12:02

    They are not sure why the Hyena did what it did? Umm... it tried to eat the boy and left the sweets and chips? Don't leave food in the tent, how do you achieve this without sleeping in the tent? Maybe camp in a secure camping area.

  • tokoloshe - 2011-06-13 12:03

    Its all about discipline, dear mommy most likely gave him extra food in case he got hungry. these kids were warned not to have food in their tents.

      PJP - 2011-06-13 15:31

      'dear mommy most likely gave him extra food in case he got hungry' ... and MOST LIKELY not even his extra food - read again ... 'he was attacked while he was in the tent with other pupils'...

  • Mr Dobbs - 2011-06-13 12:05

    That's why I don't sign indenmity forms when my kid goes on camp with the school. They will not claim responsibility.

  • LOLWUT - 2011-06-13 12:07

    "KwaZulu-Natal wildlife officials are investigating what caused a hyena to attack a 13-year-old pupil who...." I am not an animal expert - but was it not hunger?

      daaivark - 2011-06-13 12:39

      I doubt it. It's what Hyenas do. People did not heed warnings.

      Jayden - 2011-06-13 13:13

      People tend to ignore warnings and feed wild animals, which in turn expect food when people are around, thereby acting aggressively when no food is feeding the animals we are giving them the death sentence. I have witnessed tourists in the Kruger feeding hyenas some braai meat right next to a sign forbidding them to do just that, and when confronted they took offence.

  • Jacques - 2011-06-13 12:10

    I heard Jurie Els is in SA for a visit again,,,,,

      BettyBlue - 2011-06-13 14:42

      Yeah, but I know for a fact that it wasn't him that tried to snatch the boy! He was at a Spar in Pretoria yesterday!

      Palooka - 2011-06-13 19:22

      Well that settles it then. He's got an alibi. But what was he doing there, buying sweets?

  • Dnt8 - 2011-06-13 12:12

    Hope the kid is well...I hope they don't put the destroy the animal. In the wild you gotta obey the rules set out by rangers.

      servo - 2011-06-13 12:22

      OMW.....dont u guys have work to do?

      Dnt8 - 2011-06-13 12:28

      Ow dude ....Iam employed by news24 to read their stories lol

      Dnt8 - 2011-06-13 12:28

      Anyways what you doing here ????? Dnt you have work to do??????

  • Duncan - 2011-06-13 12:19

    For those commenting on camp safety, you need to be reminded that kids will sneak things like chips and sweets into every school outing. Teachers almost always declare such things as contraband (I am sure in this case, with the warnings they were given, they did not forget to declare them as such). Secondary to this, is that if the teachers searched bags etc, they would be in trouble for invasion of privacy.

      Flee - 2011-06-13 12:42

      Shew lets see... Ok so the teacher invades a kids privacy for some crappy ass junk food, or hell the kid has his head ripped off in front of everyone by a ravenous carnivore... Please get a frikkin life

      Pieter - 2011-06-13 13:32

      @Flee....What Duncan has just said is nothing short of being the truth and a harsh reality. The kids and teachers have been warned,,,and as a parent myself, I know the teachers could have found it best to reiterate the warning to the kids. But kids being kids and as naughty as they come, not all will heed the warning. And should the Teacher be "caught" trying to go through the kids' bags or asking them to empty their bags wanting to make sure they do not carry food with them, the kids themselves will claim invasion of privacy...that's just how things have become. A teacher is not allowed to conduct drug search on his/her own. The teacher should ALWAYS be accompanied by either a policeman, school security personnel or 1 of the school governing body member, if not then it's invasion of the kid's privacy. So, yes, the kid was warned and he didn't listen. I'm sorry that this has happened to him but (I know this will sound a bit harsh) at least he has learnt a valuable lesson.

      Flee - 2011-06-13 13:47

      Pieter... I know, but in situations like this the teachers should be allowed to do this in order to ensure the child's safety. Should the kid refuse, well then sorry you dont go on the trip. Kids now days expect rights when they are too young or ignorant to understand the implications of their actions. I do feel for the kid, and am glad he is alive, but now days you cant risk anything in the wild.. Look at the Ellies that attacked people and animals in India, their land was being encroached upon and that is what you get... humans expect respect from nature and nature just doesn't know any better..

      Duncan - 2011-06-13 14:43

      @Flee. There is no need to get "bitchy" with me. As Pieter said, its a harsh reality. We dont make the rules. The fact that I agree that teachers should be able to conduct a search of sorts is entirely irrelevant. Maybe with a sniffer hyena. You can how best to not infringe on anyone rights.

      Flee - 2011-06-13 15:12

      Duncan, Not bitchy .. just realistic.. People who have this whole attitude that children should be treated as adults and left to their own vices... well sorry this is what happens when they do. I say search the kids, for food or drugs or whatever.. Kids at that age are not old enough to be fully responsible and thus an adult should be doing it on their behalf. People who believe that kids are the be all and end all and should have no restrictions should "get a life" as I rudely put it... Apologies.

  • ariete - 2011-06-13 12:19

    Had this happen in the Tuli block, we had velcro tent opeings, and the hyena just ripped straight in and stole my sister's sponge bag (When the ranger found the bag, it had eaten the toothpaste !). I frightened it off by bolting upright and screaming "Voertsek!".I bet it was not the first time this hyena went into a tent in iMfolosi

  • birdseye - 2011-06-13 12:22

    regardless of food in/out of the tent, if it is known for Hyenas passing through, is this not considered safe for children to be camping?

  • mathewc - 2011-06-13 12:29

    1. I know the kid - he's a great boy and seriously hope that he recovers well, both physically and mentally. 2. His parents are not "dear mommy types". 3. This is not the first trip by the school (or many, many other schools) into wildlife areas and will probably not be the last. The teachers are well versed in dealing with these types of field trips. I have had two kids go on the very same tour without any incidents. 4. Do we become an "Americanised" society where people litigate at every turn or do we continue to expose our children to the great things the world has to offer, much of which comes with some risk attached. and for those who cannot see beyond their own little worlds... 5. If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything.

      genet - 2011-06-13 13:30

      You are absolutely correct. There are some really sick people on this site.@Morotebo, go wash your mouth out with carbolic soap.

      Dean - 2011-06-13 13:46

      I am a parent at the school and my daughter went on the same trip 4 years ago. This was just a nasty freak accident. My best wishes to the Hudson family.

      shorts01 - 2011-06-13 13:50

      So True Matthew - ITS THE PUBLIC THAT FEED THE ANIMALS IN DRUNK STATES THAT THINK IT IS FUNNY OR COOL that cause these problems. The bungalow camp also had problems on the Sat night with hyena chasing their 17 yr old son who managed to get the door closed behind him. The attration of food and humans is an easy target - unfortunately supposedly educated people have caused these wild animals to seek the easy option of food. To Nicholas - prayers and blessings are with you young man - keep stong in soul and you will come through this deal a better person. Piet Van der Walk who was attached by a cheetah 3 yrs ago still carries the scars and although a different species of animal - the attration of humans and food remains high!

      SJG2T - 2011-06-13 13:56

      Hi MathewC I know the lad as well. It is sad to see how many ignorant assumptions are made in these blogs. Good on the well wishers but to those who don't know the school ethos people etc it is sad. Let us see how nick recovers as it will be a long road. The comment of dear mommy types is quite right. Pippa is tough I believe he will be moved to a local hospital over the coming weekend

      Kelvyn - 2011-06-14 20:35

      @shorts then this or these problem animals must be destroyed, fear of humans is a death sentence to both man and animal. poor kid. but also lets take this into consideration, wild animals, kids camping alone??!! no really ? being a parent I would never allow such a trip. when camping in the wild we as adults at least sleep in roof top tents away from predators.Nylon is no cage

  • Jason - 2011-06-13 12:33

    Well its harsh but rules are in place for a reason the heyna is just doing what is natural

  • adriaanallers - 2011-06-13 12:38

    4 Scientists and 7 wildlife officials was allocated to find the answer to the dramatic incident. After much debate, meetings and DNA testing. It was found that the Hyena was hungry...

      Wanna be chef - 2011-06-13 12:43


  • Mnr. Smith - 2011-06-13 12:39

    Hope he is not physically scarred for life, shame.

  • robyn - 2011-06-13 12:42

    i find alot of the comments sick . Alot of you need help

  • william.botha - 2011-06-13 12:43

    People should carry mace with them on wildlife excursions, it will even stop a lion attack.

  • Goeief0k - 2011-06-13 12:49

    hyena was hungry and boy looked like food, case closed

  • Tazziola - 2011-06-13 12:59

    I have stayed at Sontuli before - the Hyena know how to open the ZIPs on the tents and yes their is a dedicated kitchen which is also a tent and everyones food is suppose to go in there. The obvious notion - NOBODY sleeps in there!!!!! It is an amazing place and such a brilliant experience for anyone, THIS was just an unfortunate incident ! BY the way, we will be camping there again in July!!!!!

      SJG2T - 2011-06-13 21:21

      Sleep on a top bunk

  • kaz - 2011-06-13 13:09

    shame hope he recovers soon.

  • Jeannie - 2011-06-13 13:16

    If pupils and teachers had been warned not to keep food in their tents as that would attract animals, they should have been warned that humans are also food sleeping in the tents.

  • Black_Jesus - 2011-06-13 13:21

    "Its the ANC that sent that Hyena to bite that Boy" "Zuma has something to do with this" "No its Malema" "Govt officials know something about this boy being bitten by a Hyena":- I wont be surprised if I get these kinnds of responses here

  • Numsa - 2011-06-13 13:28

    wild animals liek da suporters !! u play with fire u get burnt can u be stupid to sleep in tent by lions and hyens !!

  • Joy - 2011-06-13 14:21

    Camping at a Game Reserve should always be AT OWN RISK - as you are in an area where there are Wild Animals - they are not pets. The rules are simple : FIFO

  • annie.kalahari - 2011-06-13 14:30


  • Frankie Lottering - 2011-06-13 14:37

    what difference does it make if there was food in the tent. the boy is labelled food. a hyena is a carnivore, which eats meat, which humans are made of. Visa Vie boy = food hyena = hungry

  • Stellie - 2011-06-13 15:08

    Hell. What a story to tell your grandchildren!

  • motsokwane - 2011-06-13 15:12

    This animals are out to kill the poachers, auwuuuu!!!awuwuu!!awuwuu!!! so sang the hyena after smelling the chips and the sweets.

  • Kerren - 2011-06-13 18:40

    i wouldn't take every word of this article as true and factual. it could be they (ezemvelo)are trying to cover themselves from potential law suit against them by saying that the kids were warned. do we know for a fact that they were?

      SJG2T - 2011-06-13 21:19

      Not far off Plus apparantly the hyenas at this camp have been a problem before but without incident to anyone. Pity the innocent have to be the vic. Ezemvelo should have done something before this place is a favorite for schools

  • Carolyn - 2011-06-14 08:45

    This was a freak accident that is no-ones fault... i have a daughter at the school in grade ten and my son matriculated in 2008 therefore i would like to add that TMC would never put any of their pupils in danger, its extremely unfortunate and sad but it really is a freak occurence.

  • cromagnon - 2011-06-15 08:44

    As a human, you are food for a hyena, not you sweets.

  • douglas williams - 2011-06-21 18:07

    this is so unfortunate & my heart goes out to to Andrew & his family. This just makes me realise how lucky my wife & i were when went on a trip to the MKHUZE GAME RESERVE.we arrived late & the signs were not lite up,had a braai on our campsite only & food in our tent!only to have a hyena scratching on our tent at 2am which touched my hand!it was a long & scary night! We were unaware of the dangers & the signs! These game reserves need to get a strict procedure going & inform their staff to notify the public entering their premises of such dangers & to keep reminding them! in any case these campsites should be protected from any animal trying to enter! so in this deep chapter of your life,keep GOD close,be positive & fight hard.

  • tony - 2011-08-10 07:59

    Tony Roberts. I have worked with Hyeanas for many years and have come to respect them in their natural environment. They are incredibly intelligent animals but alas are opportunistic feeders. Unfortunately Hyena are attracted to camps as there are unscrupulous people who throw them the odd bone etc. It is again unfortunate that an innocent party does get injured by ANY WILD ANIMAL because of the actions of these unscrupulous people. DO NOT FEED WILD ANIMALS IN A RESERVE otherwise your actions will have disastrous spin=offs!

  • tony - 2011-08-10 08:12

    Further to my comment below, I wish Nicholas a speedy recovery and knowing Thomas Moore as I do, I know you and your parents will have tremendous support from your friends and school staff as well as us in the conservation circles. Good luck and stay strong.

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