A schoolboy woke to find a hyena’s jaws clamped around his face before being dragged from his tent by the predator in an horrific attack during a family camping trip.
Erco Janse van Rensburg described hearing the sound of his own bones ‘being crushed like a packed of crisps’ as the hyena squatted on his body, preparing to feast on him during the pre-dawn attack, his grandfather said
The horrific experience ended only after the 15 year-old’s uncle was woken by the sound of the boy being ‘dragged like a blanket’ past his own tent and chased the animal away.
Erco is now recovering in hospital in Johannesburg after several lengthy operations to reconstruct his face, which was mutilated by the scavenger in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
Rangers at the world-famous safari park are now hunting the hyena who squeezed through a hole in the fence which was meant to secure the camp site where Erco and his family were holidaying.
Basie Smalberger, 67, said his grandson was spending the night alone in a tented annex of a trailer where his parents, Erno and Cashandra, and two sisters slept through yesterday’s 4.30am attack.
‘Erco’s uncle and family were sleeping in another tent next door and the hyena was completely silent when he grabbed Erco because it was only when he started pulling him across the ground by the collar of his pyjama top, that Johann woke up and looked out of his own tent to see what a thought was a blanket being dragged very fast across the ground.
‘Johann went to investigate what was happening and then saw the hyena on top of Erco and managed to chase him away.
‘Erco was conscious throughout the attack and then was able to describe how he heard the sound of his own bones being crushed ‘like a packet of chips’ as the hyena climbed on him.’
The boy, from Centurion, near the South African capital Pretoria, was rushed to a hospital outside the Kruger Park for emergency treatement, and then airlifted for specialist care in Johannesburg.
Source : DM