The country has seen a shocking and sudden rise in hyena attacks, and Alfred Mutua believes he knows the reason.

The Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary has issued a warning about the growing concern of hyena attacks across the nation, a situation he says has been exacerbated by recent drought conditions.

During a National Youth Service recruitment event in Kilifi at the Karisa Maitha grounds, Mutua highlighted the surge in hyena populations as a consequence of the drought, leading to an increased number of these animals venturing into human settlements and attacking people and livestock in search of food.

Mutua emphasized the importance of residents near national parks taking precautions, such as avoiding bushy areas at night, to prevent potential encounters with hyenas.

Recent incidents have seen severe attacks, with some victims being found with only small parts of their bodies remaining.

The Cabinet Secretary also addressed the financial challenges of compensating victims of human-wildlife conflicts, stating the government requires approximately Sh7 billion for compensation purposes.

To date, over Sh700 million has been disbursed, with a budget allocation of Sh950 million dedicated to compensating the families of those killed by wildlife.

To mitigate future conflicts between humans and wildlife, Mutua announced plans to erect fences around national parks, with a tender of Sh300 million already in place for fencing certain parks.

This initiative aims to keep wildlife within park boundaries, especially in areas adjacent to Kilifi and Kwale counties.

Additionally, the ministry plans to recruit over 1,500 rangers to bolster the Kenya Wildlife Service’s (KWS) capacity to manage and protect wildlife effectively.