|South African Tourism|
Hyena rips tent, attacks boy - Times LIVE:
"Hudson was bitten in the face and head while he was in the tent with other pupils. The animal ripped the tent before attacking."
The photo included with this news story shows a spotted hyena. If that's really the species involved, there should be no mystery about the motive for the attack. Spotted hyenas eat people.
But perhaps the culprit is the brown hyena (pictured here) common in South Africa. This species is mostly a scavenger; it rarely kills animals as large as a twelve-year-old. It's a formidable animal which lives largely by intimidating leopards and other large carnivores, then stealing their kills.