Israeli Doctors Restore Face of Ethiopian Boy Attacked by Wild Hyena

The hyena is one of the most common large carnivores in sub-Saharan Africa

TEL AVIV – Israeli doctors have successfully treated a seven-year-old boy from Ethiopia whose head and face were mutilated by a wild spotted hyena to the point of being “unrecognizable,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

The boy was flown to Israel as part of a humanitarian mission and treated at the Western Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. According to his medical team, he has recovered and both the cosmetic and functional outcome are “acceptable.”

Having only just made it out alive after the mauling, the boy underwent treatment in the hospital’s plastic surgery, otolaryngology, ophthalmology and maxillofacial departments, the report said.

The latest issue of the Israel Medical Association Journal published a report on the case.

“His face was severely mutilated and he was hospitalized at the Addis Ababa Medical Center for several months. As a unique humanitarian act, this child was transferred to the plastic surgery department at Galilee Medical Center with the aid of the Israeli embassy, a Jewish organization in the U.S., a local Ethiopian church and an Ethiopian Muslim organization,” the medical journal said.

By the time he arrived at the Israeli hospital, the seven-year-old needed to have the dead skin on his face debrided, the Post said. His eardrum was treated and saved and his jaw was reconstructed using bone from his rib. He lost the use of his right eye.

In 2013, Israeli diplomats led a campaign to raise $40,000 to fly another Ethiopian boy attacked by a hyena to Israel for treatment at the same hospital. The animal had attacked the boy’s village, killing five people and wounding 15 more.


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