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Panic as hyena breaks free from Jos wildlife park

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Panic as hyena breaks free from Jos wildlife park

Residents of Dong Community in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State were in a state of anxiety on Monday after a hyena escaped from the wildlife park.

According to reports, the hyena managed to get out of its enclosure at the park in Dong Community on Sunday, leading to fear among the residents of Dong as well as those living in the nearby State and Federal Low-Cost estates.

The General Manager of the Plateau State Tourism Corporation, Chuwang Pwajok, confirmed this concerning incident in a voice message sent to PUNCH Metro in Jos on Monday.

While assuring the residents that efforts were underway to locate and secure the escaped hyena, Pwajok stated, “I was informed yesterday about the escape of a hyena from its enclosure at the Jos Wild Life Park, and I immediately instructed all our staff members, especially park rangers and animal keepers, to take swift action in finding the animal.

“The effort has been ongoing since yesterday all through today and the report reaching me at the Jos wildlife unit has it clearly that the animal, the expectation at least, is that it will not wander off far from its abode because it hadn’t been acclimatised to the surrounding environment and all it knew is the Jos wildlife park.

“You know the park is quite a huge span of land and all hands are on deck trying to locate the animal and lure it back into its enclosure.

“So, we’re all trying our best to make sure that there’s no harm to the people within the park and even the animal. We sent out information to the public, informing them of what had happened.”

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The General Manager also dismissed insinuations that the hyena escaped from the park due to hunger.

He said, “I just want to use this opportunity to address some misconceptions concerning what might have led to the escape of the animal. I want to plead with the general public to resist the temptation of using social media to send out unverified information.

“There are insinuations in some quarters that it left its enclosure due to hunger which is far from the truth. If anything, those who visited the park some months back and have equally gone back recently will attest that all our animals are looking healthier than they were before because Governor Caleb Mutfwang has graciously approved an upward review for the animals at the Jos Wildlife Park. The resources for feeding these animals have consistently been released to this corporation.

“And, one of the major priority areas at the management team of the Plateau Tourism Corporation has remained the Jos Wildlife Park. Though several challenges bedevil the park due to long years of neglect, these challenges are disappearing.

Some of the cages are old and we have consistently helped to manage this situation. I am very happy to report that very active measures are in place and very soon all the cages will be rehabilitated and modernised and people will see the new Jos Wildlife Park which will give them a rewarding game-viewing experience. The rumour that the escape is due to hunger is therefore far from the truth.”

A lion had in 2015 escaped from its cage from the park and was shot dead by security operatives in their bid to apprehend the wild animal.

However, the lion was replaced by the state government about one year afterwards.

Proofreading by Fa’izatu Aliyu Doma, Journalist at Neptune Prime. 

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