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They typically hunt alone or in groups of up five individuals — the size of potential prey increases with the hunting group size.

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They can also run up to km per hour over several kilometres, with one pursuit being observed over an astonishing distance of 24km. This combination of strength and speed make them formidable hunters and one of the top predators in the African savannas. Living in female dominated clans, hyenas are also one of the most social of all carnivores. Cubs are reared communally although females only suckle their own offspring with the group providing safety in numbers, improved vigilance of adults, and an effective defence of territory and food.

As is common in many social carnivores, the spotted hyena has a wide repertoire of vocalisations to aid communication. But the laugh is actually a submissive call, showing that the individual making the sound is not a threat. The hyena is a wonderful predator in its own right.

Yes, they steal prey from other carnivores, but so do lions when they get a chance. They may appear like an angry mob at times, but what they are actually displaying is superb team work. At the frontiers of the urban: thinking concepts and practices globally — London. UEA Inaugural lecture: Behind the thin ideal: the importance of feminism in understanding and treating eating problems — Norwich, Norfolk. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom.


Richard Yarnell , Nottingham Trent University. Team players Living in female dominated clans, hyenas are also one of the most social of all carnivores. Social animal. Richard Yarnell , Author provided Yes, they steal prey from other carnivores, but so do lions when they get a chance.

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Africa Predators Animals In defence of: unpopular species Global perspectives nature documentaries. A bat detector crackled as it picked up sonar. Some years ago, when Dr.

Abi-Said, a conservation biologist and striped hyena expert at Lebanese University in Beirut, was conducting his Ph. His spotlight illuminated the eyes of spiders, foxes and a small owl. Then, early in the morning as he rumbled along in a valley between two steep mountain ridges, the spotlight lit up two pairs of — could it be?

The Man Who Tickles and Plays with Hyenas

But they closed straightaway and did not reappear. Smaller than the spotted hyena of sub-Saharan Africa, it has a prominent black and white mane that, when raised in alarm, gives it the appearance of having been electrocuted while trying to transform into a zebra.

Team players

The striped hyena is an important part of the ecosystem: a scavenger, equipped with a formidable immune system that enables it to safely consume rotting meat and prevent the spread of disease. But striped hyenas are elusive, understudied and not exactly well liked. In Lebanon they are shot on sight, out of fear, or hunted for sport, although both activities are illegal. In North Africa and elsewhere in the Middle East, where striped hyenas also roam, the animals are run over, poisoned or killed for use in traditional medicine.

Abi-Said has spent much of his career trying to change Lebanese attitudes toward hyenas. Abi-Said said.

The Predator That Always Adds Drama to the Plains

And we were doing this? Stripey, a female striped hyena, was born at the center in , but the war that year between Israel and Hezbollah prevented her release. With an urban striped hyena named Ruthi, Ms. Bar-Ziv has worked to dispel the scary notion that striped hyenas move in packs. She got around. Bar-Ziv wrote in an email. Stripey growled when Dr.

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Abi-Said approached her cage, then scratched herself, one long paw dangling in the air. Her head was half bat, half dog. In Lebanon, Dr. Some people believe a hyena will use its stripes to mesmerize you before luring you to its lair and tickling you to death. The legend made sense when Stripey emitted an uneven wheeze reminiscent of someone trying desperately to stop laughing long enough to catch her breath. There are fewer than 10, striped hyenas left in the wild.

Hyena Facts | Southern Africa Wildlife Guide

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists them as near threatened globally, with their numbers decreasing. Data is readily available for three of those species, but not for striped hyenas, which are the least-studied of the four. Striped hyenas are especially hard to monitor because they are nocturnal, live alone or in pairs, and favor inaccessible habitats. They rarely kill livestock, but they really like melons, which they use to get water.

They are also partial to dates. Farmers often mistake fruit-seeking hyenas for marauders hunting their herds. Dloniak said.


The union specialist group has no data on striped hyenas from Syria, Egypt or Libya. They have some from Iraq and Iran, and a little from Pakistan. The country, which has an area of just 6, square miles, shares borders with Israel, with which it is still technically at war, and Syria, where a protracted civil war continues. Cross-border collaboration is important for wildlife conservation, Dr.

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Dloniak noted, but is sometimes almost impossible.