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Hyena Trap - Wolwehok
Beaufort West district, Western Cape

Type:Wolwehok (Hyena Trap)


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32°20'03.04" S 22°29'46.65" E Alt: 929m

Transcript of information board:

Early stock farmers in the area of the present Karoo National
Park experienced difficulties with predation on sheep and other
stock. One of the measures used to couteract [sic] stock losses was
the implementation of the "Wolwehok" - an attempt to eliminate
"problem" animals. Subsequent to the proclamation of the park
several of these traps were discovered, some relatively well
preserved, others merely ruins. These traps are considered to
be of architectural and cultural significance.
Mainly brown hyaena, jackal, leopard and other "problem" animals.
Primitive stone structures of varying shapes and sizes, mostly
2 - 2,5m in size.
The bait was secured to a pin at the rear of the trap. A riem
(rawhide rope) covered with animal fat, was attached to the
bait at one end and to the pin on the trapdoor at the other. Any
tugging at the bait and tightening of the rope, will thereby
release the trapdoor and enclose the occupant. A small
aperture (usually blocked by a stone) was located above the
bait enabling one to see into the trap. This aperture also
permitted farmers to insert a riffle or assegaai with which the
animal was killed. Although these traps were once regarded
as essential, their use also contributed to the extinction of the
brown hyeana in the karoo.