A hyena snatched a six-year-old boy from his parents’ doorstep in Buhera and killed him before dumping the mutilated body in a nearby riverbed in the middle of the night.

Elisha Zvavahera, of Zvavahera village was playing outside with 10 other siblings from his father’s polygamous marriage when the lone hyena pounced. They ignored an alarm initially raised by one of the children as they were listening to the news on the radio.

When Elisha’s mother — Mrs Ellen Matsenhura — eventually went out to investigate after about 20 minutes, the victim was no longer traceable.

Mr Zvavahera said this was the worst tragedy to inflict his family. He said the tragic incident was giving them sleepless nights.

“His bones were weak since childhood and he could not walk or run normally and when other children noticed the hyena and rushed for cover, Elisha lagged behind and fell prey. This is the worst catastrophe to affect the family. We later noticed that as the children played outside, the hyenas were by the kraal. They were running towards the kraals, and that is how and where Elisha was snatched. 

“His body was discovered along the river around 8am the following morning, and the sight was horrible. His stomach had been ripped open and the intestines were all over the scene. His legs had been gnawed and the head had been pierced. He had two deep cuts on both ears, suggesting that is the area the animal sank its canines and dragged him. It was a scary view; I had to draw all my courage as the father to put the ripped body together. This is the work of the devil,” Zvavahera, who is a member of Johanne Marange Church told the Manica Post.

“This area is no longer habitable and kids are refusing to go to school fearing a comeback by the hyenas. It is unfortunate that I have lost a son in this incident, but we should not lose another person to have these animals eliminated,” he said.