Some believe that they are part animal and possess magical powers. The reality is that they are travelling minstrels earning money by performing with Animals. This examines the clash between the urban and the wild, and the paradoxical relationship that the handlers have with their animals – sometimes loving, sometimes brutal and cruel.
A documentary on the “hyena boys” has revealed the trainers’ practices and methods in trapping hyenas, monkeys and snakes to use in paid performances in the country.
# The Hyena
Hyenas are seen “hugging” their tamers and sitting on command as baboons wearing football shirts take money from onlookers in wild Animal shows in Nigeria.Dancing men make the hyenas spin around before they jump into their arms and snake handlers shock crowds by putting their faces perilously close to poisonous reptiles.
“The hyena boys must also be tamed, fed strange medicines from infancy, and plied with snakes to be integrated into the community fuelled by the belief that they are spiritually connected to the animals,” the documentary makers said.
Mufasa Mohammed, a tamer who demonstrated making a hyena “sit” on command, said he had been practicing since he was five years old and raises his own Animals.
Baboons are trained to approach spectators and dance or perform tricks, then take money back to their masters.The head of the group is Baba Mohammed, father to Mufasa and several other trainers.
“We use medicine to help us,” he said.
“We drink the medicine before we go, then we can go and catch them. We give the animals medicine to drink too.”
His youngest son, a small toddler, is seen crying as he is force-fed the liquid and later being placed with a snake in a ceremony to mark his supposed power over the reptiles.
To prove his talents for the cameras, he put a live snake’s head inside his mouth and then unflinchingly let the reptile slither down his trousers.
When asked if the animals are mistreated, Baba said tamers do not have to beat the animals because they are obedient, claiming they “miss” their trainers when they leave.
In the video below, you can see The Terrifying Animal Gangs Of Nigeria
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Video resource : Our Life