Apr 15, 2009, 7:11 AM
What is going on at Abuko Nature Reserve? The Daily Observer reported yesterday that a hyena had escaped from the camp and caused havoc in the Fajikunda suburb of Serekunda. The reserve is only three kilometres away from the suburb and so a short trot for the animal as large and powerful as hyena. This animal could have taken lives were it not for the quick thinking of the men of the area who captured it using a fishing net. If this beast had stumbled across a lone child it would surely have led to tragedy.
The Abuko Nature Reserve is an important part of our tourist infrastructure and as such should practice the highest standards of safety practice. How many tourists will visit the park if news of lax security regarding the restraint of a potentially bloodthirsty animal leak out? Aside from the tourism aspect the safety of people living in the surrounding areas must be considered. Unfortunately all it will take is one lapse of security leading to a tragedy to finish the reputation of the nature reserve. This would have obvious knock-on implications for those working there and in the wider tourism industry so all steps must be taken to ensure that the enclosure where these animals are kept is impenetrable to them. As stated above, the hyena is a very large powerful animal and must be treated with the utmost respect. We urge all those involved in the running of the park, particularly on the security side of things, to ensure that the highest safety standards are being observed at all times. This incident was a warning and thankfully nobody was injured. We may not be so lucky if it happens again.