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How Machakos girl was mauled by hyena, losing an arm and eye after truck driver kicked her out in the dead of night

In Summary

  • On August 20, the desperate girl embarked on a journey to Mombasa to secure a house-help job.
  • Her tribulations started when upon arrival, her employer to-be told her that she will not accept her if she does not have an ID.

What started as a quest for employment by a 23-year-old Machakos woman ended with a horrific hyena encounter at Tsavo National Park.

Irene Mbithe now has one arm and an eye, after the other pairs were chopped off and blinded by the beast.

But how did Mbithe find herself in this situation? On August, 20, the desperate girl embarked on a journey to Mombasa, to secure a job as a house-help.

Upon arrival, however, her employer-to-be told her that she would not hire her without a national identification card (ID).

This meant that Mbithe had to travel back to Machakos to get her ID. But she had no bus fare. After advice from a stranger, Mbithe decided to hitchhike on one of the numerous trucks along the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway.

FThe Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks are adjacent to the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway. Irene Mbithe encountered a hyena after a truck driver threw her out after she refused to heed to his advances. PHOTO/ COURTESY.

According to Usikimye, an organisation working towards ending the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence, the truck driver who offered Mbithe a lift started making romantic advances at her along the way. She turned down the man’s flirtatious signals.

The ‘irked’ truck driver then threw her out of the vehicle in the dead of night, just when they were approaching the Tsavo National Park.

Encounter with the beast– hyena

“As she sat by the side of the highway, a hyena attacked her severely. While the animal was pulling the flesh off her stomach, a Good Samaritan driving along the road, heard her screams, drove to the nearest town, and came back with police officers and KWS officials,” says Usikimye.

The officers located her by following a trail of blood left behind. By the time help arrived, the animal had dragged Mbithe into the bush, mauled her on the left side, biting off her left arm. She also lost her left eye in the ordeal. KWS officers were forced to shoot in the air to scare off the hyena.

“They were to abandon the body as they thought she was dead but the Samaritan insisted they take her to Makindu hospital where she arrived barely alive and was attended to,” adds Usikimye.

Irene Mbithe Hyena encounter
FACE OF FEROCITY: A hyena had already started making a meal of Mbithe, thrust out of a moving truck after unrequited advances by the randy driver. PHOTO/FILE

Three years after the near-death experience, Mbithe has been left with one arm, one eye and other external and internal injuries.

She still experiences unending chest pains, headaches, and high pulse rates coupled with sweating profusely as a result of the hyena attack.

Appeal to KWS

Mbithe hails from a poor background, being the firstborn of a single mother of five. Not even the family’s numerous appeals to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) bore any fruit of Mbithe being facilitated to get the best medical healthcare that she needs.

“The girl is in pain, her eye and face, unfortunately, have deteriorated due to lack of resources and poor management,” concludes Usikimye.


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