About the Author

Bruce Arnott

Field Guide Alumni

Bruce worked at Londolozi from 2017 to 2020. He always had a passion for the bush and the outdoors, having been camping and fishing since he was a young boy. He attended school in the Natal midlands after which he moved down to ...

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on Are You Judging a Book by its Cover?

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Bruce, this blog post truly captures my experience with hyenas, as I definitely had preconceived notions about them which were initially confirmed on our first game drive. Hyenas surrounded our vehicle as we observed a leopard protecting its catch in a tree–very scary. Our ranger, Trevor, began the education process. Two days later, we came upon a den. The cubs were very playful and approached our vehicle. One began licking the tires. It was a calm family scene in direct contrast to our initial encounter,
The recent Lion King movie also did them a disservice.

I love Hyhenas……… Always did! They are quite interesting to watch, because they are so different in build and manners than the cats. Also the little ones are really beautiful and it is interesting to see how they grow up and change into adults. They are often quite easy to follow as they are not very interested in vehicles and just do their thing. Really lovely animals, with also a good job in the whole setting, cleaning up and reasuring only the strong survive and reproduce

I appreciate this perspective, and I observed it this last Safari. Thanks

Bruce, wonderful blog today. We saw den of Hyenas when we were there 2017, the pups came right to the Land Rover, just like you said. We also noticed that female had a penis! Unbelievable! We returned in 2018 (we have been there 4x’s now and will return in 2020 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary – hope to see some hyenas on that trip)

Hi Bruce, I know you told us all about the hey as and how necessary they are to th ecology of the bush. You are correct, I have to admit I don’t like them a lot although the babies are cute. I will try to make more of an effort to respect them. Hope you are well. Victoria

What a great story and pictures of the hyena. All I have ever seen is what they show on the nature shows thanks so much on giving the hyena a different view.

Bruce, such an informative article about the much maligned hyena. I find them fascinating to watch individually or as a family unit. My favorite moments spent with one occurred when this female tried to ingratiate herself with a small pack of wild dogs in the hopes of an easy meal. Needless to say, they took off leaving her in their dust and she followed at a distance only to see them fail to catch an impala. She watched them disperse into the trees and finally slunk off, perhaps considering other
options. Ultimately I felt a bit sorry for her……

I agree totally, Bruce! I love to watch the cubs and listen to the calls of the adults. I certainly have never seen a cub make that sound! Wow, that must have been something. Amazing animals and they are beautiful if you aren’t watching them tear apart a carcass. I say that knowing I feel the same about all animals! I doubt that I look too good when I am tearing into a nice cut of meat myself! 😂

I was one of those first time safari goers who put hyena in the “mean and evil” category thanks to The Lion King….until I sat at a hyena den. Now they are among my favorite. ❤️❤️❤️

The MOST misunderstood animal in Africa and my favorite African animal! Thanks for this post!

Interesting information Bruce. We were fortunate to see brown hyena almost every day in Botswana and luckily on spotted. They are amazing animals.

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