The surviving chickens captured at the scene - Pic by Kondwani Magombo
Lilongwe, February 28: An unidentified beast Wednesday night killed eighteen layers chickens worth MK45,000 belonging to two business persons at Lilongwe’s Bwandilo Market.
The incident has raised fears on the security of people and livestock in the area following the unsolved tragedy where suspected stray dogs killed a woman from Njewa in Lilongwe on February 17 injuring a barely 4-month-old baby in the process.
The two business persons, Maxwell Jamu, from Mtandire, and Chrissie Lufeyo, from Kawale in Lilongwe, told Malawi News Agency (Mana) Thursday that the identity of the animal that killed their chickens remains a mystery although “the guard who witnessed the incident thinks it looked like a dog”.
The two said the guard told them that at around 10:00PM he heard noise from the chickens’ cages and when he rushed to check what was going on, he found more than a dozen chickens lying dead outside their cages, and saw what looked like a dog running away from the scene.
“The guard said he heard that sound a chicken makes when you catch it and when he run to the cages to check he found bodies of chickens and feathers all over the place, and something that looked like a dog ran away,” explained Jamu, who lost 8 chickens to the unidentified predator.
The businessman said mysteriously, all the 18 dead chickens, 8 from his cage and 10 from Chrissie Lufeyo’s cage, were intact, which ruled out the fact that it was a dog – or dogs that had preyed on them.
“All the chickens’ bodies were intact except for holes either on their necks, sides, or where the legs joined the main body,” explained Jamu, adding, “And there was no single mark of blood around: it appeared like whatever killed them had only targeted at sucking blood from the chicken.”
He deduced that under normal circumstances, an ordinary dog would devour the chickens and, according to him, the fact that all the bodies of the chickens were found intact rules out any possibility that it was a dog.
Jamu added that people scrambled for the dead chickens and he said fear abounds as to whether consumption of the same was not a health risk.
The Area 47 Bwandiro Market lies along the M! Road, opposite where the Paul Kagame Road joins the country’s back bone road.
The Market’s main entrance has no gate and the small gate on the other side has is made of burglar bars but with spaces wide enough to let a dog of average size in.
Meanwhile, both the police and the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development are yet to establish what exactly killed the woman in Njewa as they said they would “investigate the matter”.