- There are four species in the hyena family: Spotted, Brown, Striped, and Aardwolf.
- They are mostly nocturnal but it is not rare for them to be active in early- morning hours.
- Hyenas are found in almost any habitat like grasslands, woodlands, savannas, forest edges, sub-deserts and mountains as high up as 13,000 feet (3962.4 m).
- Hyenas are territorial.
- Hyenas are highly social and live in groups called clans.
- Each clan can have up to 80 members.
The hunt and the kill
- When in a group, they can devour a zebra in half an hour, not even leaving the bones.
- They hunt and kill in packs.
- Hyenas don’t like wasting food. They often hide leftovers in watering holes.
- Hyenas eat every part of an animal, including bones and hooves.
- They can smell the dead 4 kilometres away.
Hyenas and Mating
- Mating occurs outside of the clan.
- The mating between two nonrelated individuals last seven days.
- Hyenas have a gestation period of around three months.
- Hyenas deliver two to four cubs.
- Hyena females look after each other’s cubs in the clan.
- The cub’s eyes open after five to nine days and at two weeks old they are mature enough to leave the den.
- Cubs are dependent on the mother’s milk for six months and nurse for over a year.
- After two years, the “cub” ventures out on its own.
Written by Tersha van Staden