A Centurion teenager mauled by a hyena in the Kruger National Park last month is recovering, but is still struggling to talk, Rekord Centurion reports.
Erco “Boela” Janse van Vuuren, 15, is still under intensive care in Milpark hospital in Johannesburg after his misfortune.
A hyena attacked him and dragged him several metres while he was sleeping in a tent with his parents.
“He is getting better bit by bit,” Janse van Vuuren’s grandfather, Basie Smalberger, said on Thursday.
“He uses his hands to communicate with us, such as a thumbs-up, as he cannot speak at the moment due to damage to his throat.”
The teenager underwent a 10-hour long operation last week for surgeons to conduct extensive facial reconstructive surgery.
Smalberger said reports that Janse van Vuuren had lost sight in his one eye still had to be confirmed.
“We are still waiting on the ophthalmologist about his eye. Even though he is getting better, we still have a long way to go.”
Janse van Vuuren woke up at about 4am on June 26 with the hyena’s jaws around his head.
He described the sound of the hyena crushing the bones in his face like a packet of chips being crushed.
The animal dragged Janse van Vuuren about 30m before it sat on him. His father, Erno, chased the predator away.
The teenager was rushed to Mediclinic in Nelspruit with serious injuries to his face after receiving first aid from a nurse at the camp.
Janse van Rensburg was then airlifted to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.
– Caxton News Service