Despite the constant threat of being viciously mauled by wild hyenas while he sleeps, Somali man Dalmar Samatar admitted that when considering the combination of extreme poverty, hunger, disease, oppression, lawlessness, and militant attacks, he has little time to concern himself with the very real threat of wild beasts tearing and gnawing at his vulnerable flesh.
“Sure, several people in my village have been pulled away by a pack of devil dogs in the dark of the night,” said the man whose government cowers when challenged by a smattering of Islamists with AK-47s, “But at least those people no longer have to hear the sounds of crying children with empty and bloated bellies.”
Hyenas, considered by some in Somalia to have special powers to root out evil spirits, are often put in a locked room with mentally ill Somalis in a last-ditch effort to cure ailments. While several cases of patient injuries have been reported, most who undergo treatment are simply grateful to be within reach of potentially edible meat.
“There are several ways to ward off hyena attacks,” Samatar explained while nervously turning toward distant gunfire, “They don’t attack sick individuals, and they are especially drawn to houses with food. Also, it is important to own a gun if they do come into the house.”
“This is Somalia, so needless to say I got all those bases covered.”
Originally Published Mar 2014