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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:08am December 14, 2022,

4-year-old survives six days lost in hyena-infested Kenyan national park 

Ayub, 4, survived 6 days in a hyena-infested national park -- Photo Credit: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

A 4-year-old boy who disappeared in Kenya’s hyena-infested Tsavo National Park was found after six days of searching. According to BBC, the minor, identified as Ayub, was in the company of his elder brothers when he disappeared. The group was said to be herding livestock.

And though the area he wandered during his disappearance was hyena-infested, Ayub managed to survive after he was ultimately found on the sixth day of a search and rescue operation. Roan Carr-Hartley, the pilot who assisted with the operation, said he was happy with the way the search and rescue operation went. 

“It was shock, I couldn’t believe it actually turned out the way it did, because from experience even finding an elephant in that vegetation sometimes takes up to a week, but finding a four-year-old boy is almost a needle in a hay stack situation, so it’s a huge relief, disbelief, and just unbelievable happiness really,” he said.

Per local news outlet Nation.Africa, Ayub survived the six days by drinking rainwater and eating marula seeds-like pods. Following his disappearance, residents in his village organized a search party to look for him. But after efforts to find him proved futile, they contacted the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) for aerial assistance. 

And though Carr-Hartley joined the team on the fourth day of the search, bad weather continued to impede their rescue efforts. “It was nearly impossible to see anything on the ground under that vegetation and with the terrible weather, the search was the most difficult I can say I have engaged in,” he said.

On the sixth day, Carr-Hartley said they headed deeper into the forest. But he said they were unable to  coordinate the search, adding that “since there was no communication network in this particular place, the team on the ground was quite a distance from me and I could not see them easily.”

But he eventually spotted Ayub and notified the team on the ground. “It was an emotional moment for me from the sky; a very emotional reunion. I could see how happy these people were and I could only imagine how the village that was in a sombre mood when we left would rejoice to learn of this rescue,” he said.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 14, 2022


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