At PrideRock Wildlife Refuge, providing a permanent sanctuary and shelter for mistreated and unwanted lions, tigers and cougars is our guiding mission.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Get to know the hyena

African spotted hyena
Striped hyena
Hyenas. Most people think of a vicious wild animal that eats dead animals. And while hyenas can be all of those things, they are so much more. For instance, four species exist included the African spotted hyena, the straggly brown hyena, striped hyena and the aardwolf. Most hyenas "laugh" or at least make a noise that humans consider to be a laugh. However, hyenas laugh to give an indication of its age and social status. Hyenas usually hunt and kill in packs. A group of hyenas will eat a zebra including the bones in less than 30 minutes. Striped hyenas, however, eat carrion and are often killed by vehicles while eating on the road. When threatened, the brown hyena is capable of "playing dead" similar to that of an opossum. Female hyenas rule the roost, so to speak. Males on any rank, even the highest ranking male, is always subordinate to even the lowest ranking female hyena. Most clans of hyenas spend a lot of time fighting with one another. Some say, the older the hyena, the more damaged the ears are. Many years ago, hyenas were thought to dig up bodies of the dead and eat them -that, is a myth. And it is still up for debate if hyenas are smarter than chimps. Their frontal cortex is said to be the same size as a chimps and in studies on intelligence, hyenas performed better at problem-solving and social cooperation than chimpanzees.
Straggly brown hyena


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