Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hyenas Bite! Literally....

At dinner one night, our guard called the staff for an emergency. The report was something about a hyena. Hyena? That got everyone’s attention. I decided I needed to find out.

When we got to the clinic, a man was splayed out on my prenatal bed, obviously in pain. He had made a make-shift wrap around his foot which was dirty from walking. He had a walking stick laying beside him- apparently for his ridiculous limp.

Unwrapping the bandage showed a foot gouged out on the top with two deep puncture wounds beneath. We could actually peel back the filleted layer of skin and see the tendons of his toes beneath.

It was over a day since his attack so we couldn’t suture. Instead we irrigated the wound, dressed and bandaged it. The man had to work very hard not to call out in pain. I wouldn’t have chided him if he had. It was painful just to look at!

The story told us was the night before he was tending his goats in the field. The men here sleep in tents out with their cattle and goats. They are rural shepherds much like I imagine King David was in his day. They are always ready to fend off predators – whether they are wild animals or cattle raiders.

Well, this night, he was asleep and a hyena came calling. It reached inside (supposedly for the goat) and got his foot instead. He was pulled several meters before the hyena gave up and went away. I’m sure he fought him off in every way possible too.

What a way to be woken in the night!