Hyenas and wild dogs: sworn enemies

spotted hyena (crocuta crocuta) are well-known scavengers and often feed on the remains of other predators. But they are also skilled hunters, capable of shooting wildebeest or antelope. They also kill and eat birds, lizards, snakes, and insects.

In increasingly densely populated Africa, hyenas and humans often come into contact: the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania even allow their deaths to be eaten by hyenas. However, these clever and brave animals invaded food and crop supplies and were responsible for the deaths of many farm animals and even some humans. In some areas they have been hunted as destructive pests.

The spotted hyena is the largest of the three hyena species, the other two being the striped hyena (hyaena hyaena), has a wide geographic distribution (from India to Arabia and from Tanzania to Morocco) and the brown hyena (Hyaena Brunnea), inhabits southern Africa. Although hyenas look like dogs, they are actually closer to cats. Spotted hyenas live together in large groups called clans, which can consist of up to 80 individuals and are led by females.

Spotted hyenas have good hearing and sharp night vision. They are fast and can run long distances without getting tired. The packages work together effectively to isolate an animal from the herd, sometimes sick or incapacitated, and chase it to death. The victors often fought over the spoils, either among themselves or with other powerful animals such as lions.

Spotted hyenas are very vocal and make a wide variety of sounds, including the kind of “laugh” that has long been associated with their name.

Serena Hoyles

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