hyena crossing road

The Hyena

Hyenas are large dog looking carnivores that are uniquely neither in the dog or cat family but rather in a family of their own the Hyaenidae family. They have a rather unique structure with their hind legs being shorter than their front ones giving them a hunched appearance.

The Hyena

These fascinating animals live in various habitats of Africa and Asia. There are four species of hyena, spotted hyena, brown hyena, striped hyena and aardwolf in order of their size with the spotted hyena being the largest. Wrongfully labelled as cowardly and timid, hyenas can actually be very aggressive and vicious killing baby lion, leopard and other predators and with spotted hyenas actually pursuing and killing 95% of their food. Brown hyenas and striped hyenas are largely scavengers and also use a lot of aggression to ward off other carnivores from their food.

- Interesting Aspects -

Aspect One

Females run the spotted hyena world with the female cubs even ruling over the male ones. They have high testosterone levels sometimes higher than the male ones in their early years and they are considerably larger, more muscular and aggressive.

Aspect Two

There is fierce competition between spotted hyenas and lions as they hunt the same prey and scavenge the same remains of animals. They often squabble over the same territories, they steal each other’s food and kill off each other’s young.

Aspect Three

Though often depicted as slow witted , hyenas are very intelligent animals who have proven better problem solving and social cooperation abilities than chimpanzees, with use of non verbal signals for communication.

laugh along

Get To Know Them

Just like humans spotted hyenas make a sound that’s just like laughter. The laugh is a form of communication that relays agitation or excitement and is often used to signal excitement over finding food and the sound alerts other hyenas of the location of a new food source.

hyena life

Watch Our Video

Survival in the Wild

Hyenas in Action

A lion finding himself surrounded by a clan of hyenas could be in real trouble, one can never predict how things will play out . Have a look at this amazing video from BBC Earth.


Best Places to See Hyenas

Crazy about hyenas? Here's where in Africa you're most likely to see this intriguing animal.

Get Up Close & Personal

Spotted hyenas have quit an appetite, with a standard clan eating an entire zebra down to the last bone in under an hour. Spotted Hyenas can eat up to one third of their body weight at one meal and their hunting skills enable them to take down animals as big as wildebeest. They are also highly effective scavengers with a very good sense of smell, smelling carrion from as far as four kilometres downwind.

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