Hyena kills 11-year-old tourist on safari

Published Aug 9, 2000


Gaborone - An 11-year-old American boy was attacked and killed by a hyena while on safari in Botswana's Moremi Game Reserve. Details about the incident have only surfaced three weeks after the attack on July 19.

The United States Embassy in Gaborone refused to comment, but Bridget Hedges of Capricorn Safaris in Maun said on Wednesday the boy was Mark Garrat Shea, from Baltimore.

The hyena had attacked the boy while he was sleeping. The tent flaps had apparently not been secured.

"The flaps were open, but the tent was not damaged," she said.

The boy's mother is still in northern Botswana.

"She is trying to come to terms with what has happened," Hedges said.

"She doesn't want to go home. She is acting erratically, prepared to open up one minute, saying nothing the next. I think she needs spiritual guidance."

The boy's remains were cremated in Johannebsurg in South Africa as there is no crematorium in Botswana. Hedges believes the mother scattered the ashes in the reserve.

She said the boy and his mother had been on safari in Botswana and Zimbabwe for two and a half weeks before the incident. - Sapa

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