I used to think of hyena as sneaky nasty scavengers until I started watching the live safari drives at Djuma on Wildearth tv online. Now I love them (most of the time lol), the babies are so curious and playful and even the older ones are cute to look at up close. The only time I don’t like them are when they annoy (or bite the end of the taills off) my beloved leopards lol. Love the pics above, especially the small baby, I’m missing seeing the teeny ones, as the ones we watch have all got to the age where they have got their spots now, so it was good to see a tiny one again, thank you.
We all have our own opinions about hyenas…
Some think that they are the most foul things in the world ; conniving, silly and dark (an image enhanced by their portrayal in the Lion King). Others are their biggest fans and preach about the good they do for the health of an ecosystem.
Often operating in clans, it is thought that they developed this social behavior in response to increased pressure from rivals on carcasses, thus forcing them to operate in teams. At Londolozi we have a very healthy population of Spotted Hyena and whether you like them or not one can’t help but acknowledge their entertainment value!
Nights at Londolozi are punctuated with the ‘whooping’ and ‘laughs’ of the hyenas as they communicate over vast distances with each other. These highly intelligent animals are always up to something and leave many shuddering…
The nerve-wracking confrontations between hyena and lion/leopard/wild dogs often creates the most memorable sightings and always leaves me caught on the fence about whether I like the way they operate. They come in with power, force, noise and presence…the one thing they are not is silent and polite!
Another aspect of hyena behaviour which always amazes me is their patience. In my mind they are ‘patience-personnified’ as they sit under a tree waiting for a scrap of meat to fall. As the proverb simply states “Good things come to those who wait“.
Below are some of the photos I have taken of Londolozi’s hyenas over the last 2 years…the love/hate relationship continues!
So what is your opinion of the ‘laughing’ hyena? Let me know your thoughts below…
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister
Filed under Wildlife
I agree with you Ellen, I also love hyenas. If you spend enough time observing them you will notice fascinating patterns of behaviour, social hierarchies and an exceptionally determined attitude. Thanks for your comments.