Escaped hyena causes panic in Nigerian city

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By Mansur AbubakarBBC News, Kano

Getty Images A hyena baring its teeth and tongue.Getty Images

A zoo worker says hyenas fear humans and often poo when scared (stock photo)

A hyena is on the loose in the central Nigerian city of Jos after escaping from a wildlife park.

Concerned residents have been assured by the state tourist board that drones and rangers are searching for the animal.

It is unclear how the hyena escaped from Jos Wildlife Park but, according to the tourist board, it had been inside a cage.

A zoo worker told the BBC that the chances of the hyena attacking people were slim.

“Hyenas are very fearful of humans – the animal is more likely to run away than attack,” said Abba Gandu, who is based at Kano Zoo in the north of the country, and has worked with lions and hyenas for 50 years.

“It normally excretes when scared and I foresee that happening when people finally get to it.”

But many people in Jos remain fearful.

Resident Hamisu Bala told the BBC that people who live in the vicinity of the wildlife park were particularly worried that they might cross paths with the hyena.

Wildlife escapes are not new in Nigeria.

In 2015, a four-year-old lion was shot dead after it had escaped from the same park.

At the time, police said the lion was hostile during attempts to return it to its enclosure and was put down before it could harm anyone.

In nearby Kano state in 2019, a lion also escaped while rangers were trying to return it to a cage after attending a national agricultural show.

It was later found after hours of searching.

Plateau State Tourism Corporation Official of Jos Wildlife park in NigeriaPlateau State Tourism Corporation

Park officials are on the lookout for the missing hyena

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