Last updated: 04:23 PM ET, Tue June 28 2016

Boy Attacked By Hyena at Campground in South Africa

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | June 28, 2016

Boy Attacked By Hyena at Campground in South Africa

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

On Sunday, a 15-year-old boy was mauled by a hyena at a camp in South Africa's Kruger National Park as he slept in his tent.

According to The Associated Press, Erco Janse van Rensburg was attacked at around 4:30 a.m. local time Sunday while he was sleeping in a tent at the Crocodile Bridge camp in Kruger, South Africa. The hyena bit the boy in the face and dragged him 100 feet from the tent until his father scared the animal away.

Van Rensburg was airlifted to the intensive care unit of a Johannesburg hospital where doctors performed reconstructive surgery on his face. Medical teams were waiting for facial swelling to subside before assessing the situation fully.

The boy was camping with his parents and two sisters during the time of the attack, and park rangers attempted to find the Hyena, but to no avail. However, they did find a hole under the fence around the camp where the hyena may have entered.

Park spokesman William Mabasa did not comment on the details of Sunday’s attack, but did warn visitors to not feed the animals, as they could become accustomed to humans and begin to appear in tourist areas more frequently.

“Animals are naturally afraid of human beings,” Mabasa told The AP. “But once they start associating human beings with food, they lose that fear.”


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