Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hobnobbing With a Hyena in Helmand Province

It’s almost like a dog. Well, except that it could rip your limbs off and grind your bones at once. But for reasons unknown, some members of the Afghan National Police in one of the check posts in Lashkar Gah have decided to domesticate a wild hyena, a beast they caught in the woods.

The hyena, as you will notice in the pictures below, lives inside a man-made den, a small hole burrowed in the ground. It is tied around its neck to a long chain and if the look in its eyes is any indication, the hyena is not enjoying his new home. But at least the soldiers feed it well (they said they do) and occasionally drag it out of the hole for an exhibition to journalists like us.

“It is the angriest beast I’ve ever seen,” said one policeman. Of course, it’s a bone-crusher.

My suggestion: The Afghan Police should start their special K-9 unit – except these canines would not sniff opium, they would chew flesh and bones. Maybe winning against the Taliban is not all that difficult. Just let the beasts out.

And if you know hyenas well enough, you will know who'll have the last laugh.

More photos below:

All photos by Anup Kaphle

1 comment:

  1. Excellent photos. I imagine those are little bits of food being hurled at the hyena by the man in the brown robe.