Mythbusters: Hyena Edition | Londolozi Blog

About the Author

James Souchon

Field Guide

James started his guiding career at the world-renowned Phinda Game Reserve, spending four years learning about and showing guests the wonder of the incredibly rich biodiversity that the Maputaland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...

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on Mythbusters: Hyena Edition

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Sheila Marie Wallace
Member
Guest

Love it!!! Your very well read and eloquent. I also have a new found respect for The Hyena. Glad you told me to read this today!! Cheers and I already miss being there heaps and heaps!!! Sheila Marie Wallace aka “Shangela” ?

James Souchon
Field Guide

Thanks a lot Sheila. I Look forward to learning some more from your nature documentary and I hope you are having a great time in Botswana! Say hi to the rest of the family for me.

Jill Larone
Member
Guest

Very interesting write-up James! I was fortunate enough to spend some time one afternoon while at Londolozi, following some Hyenas and found their interactions with each other and their cubs fascinating. They are quite beautiful, and I was surprised to see how much larger they are than I’d thought. I don’t think most people know very much about Hyenas, so it’s great to hear your positive point of view. You’ve captured some really wonderful images of them; thank you for sharing!

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Jill, It’s my pleasure and thanks for reading. Sitting around a hyena den in the morning is one of my favourite things to do in the bush.

Jeff Morris
Member
Guest

During the drought in 1992 in the KrugerPark, we were told how 1 Hyena would get comfortable in a drinking trough and others would stsy close by mingling with the other animals at the troughs. Once the animals were relaxed and were comfortable with the Hyenas being around they would go to drink. At this point the Hyena in the trough would make or attempt to make a kill. We were fortunate to see it for ourselves as well.

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Jeff, what an amazing sighting to witness. It’s just another example of how intelligent and opportunistic these animals are.

Brenda Quatember
Member
Guest

One of my favorite animals, spending time in the bush over many years have had the

Over the years at a reserve north of you I have shared special times with these amazing animals, they are so misunderstood one of my favorites, you are not in true bush veld

Having spent a period of time over the years a bit north from you, have had the of spending time with these amazing animals, with them passing by day and night and getting to identify each one, there is nothing more special than hearing that “whoop” to know you are in the bush. Thank you for an interesting article.

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Brenda, the bush would not feel the same without the Hyena’s whooping call at night! Glad you enjoyed the article

Ann Seagle
Member
Guest

Very interesting. I learned a lot.

James Souchon
Field Guide

Thanks for reading Ann!

MJ Bradley
Member
Guest

I have to say that hyena rank up in the top 10 of animals that I love to learn about and see. Some of us have been fortunate to watch and follow a hyena clan and to identify them as individuals. They are extremely smart and always interesting or fun to observe.. Maybe one day they can become one of the Big Five II

James Souchon
Field Guide

You are so right MJ, their intelligence is very underestimated. Thanks for reading.

Madeleine Poulin
Member
Guest

Thanks James for your interesting article and beautiful images. Since I learned more about Hyenas I look forward watching them when on safari at Londolozi.

Would You share your opinion with us concerning those horrific stories about children having been killed by Hyenas in Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya (one of them being on safari with his mother)?

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Madeleine, I haven’t heard of the exact cases that you are talking about but Hyena’s, just like lion and leopard, are all opportunists. Human’s are not their natural prey species and more often than not they are more afraid of us than we are of them. Having said that, attacks on humans do happen throughout Africa from time to time and it’s usually because one of these predators is injured, old or sick and unable to catch their usual prey or if people are unaware at night time, especially small children, they could be in danger because that’s when these predators are most confident as they are mostly nocturnal. This may have been the case with these stories you are referring to. Thanks for reading.

Brenda Quatember
Member
Guest

Apologies for reply in bits and pieces, last paragraph was what I wanted to say, sorry!

ocelot152
Member
Guest

Cool animals

Loretta
Member
Guest

I’ll admit Hyenas were never my favorite, but once I saw them in real life, my opinion completely changed and now I will say that after lions, Hyennas are what I want to see most while on safari. Nice blog!

Wendy Hawkins
Member
Guest

James this is an extremely interesting write up on these totally misunderstood predators, but I need you to sort out one more “myth” for me & that they only have 2 teats, yet I have seen on some of your daily posts & more on the KNP page, there are 3 pups??? Thank you also for bringing that wonderful movie into this story <3 Look forward to more interesting Hyena information. Enjoy the rest of the week in your Paradise 🙂

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Wendy, it is unusual for a female to have 3 pups because, as you pointed out they do only have 2 teats. It’s just another example of how animals are constantly surprising us and doing things that they “aren’t supposed to do” according to the textbooks and field guides. In this case it will be interesting to watch the pups and see how they cope, unfortunately what sometimes happens is the weakest of the 3 might not be able to compete with the other 2 siblings for food.

Madeleine Poulin
Member
Guest

Thank You for your attention James. All the attacks I am referring of occurred to children at night. According to witnesses they were made by silent and well organized Hyenas packs.

Despite this, Hyenas retain my admiration because of the sophistication of their social organization.

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