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Spotted Hyaena - did you know

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Spotted Hyaena - did you know

Did you know...

Spotted Hyaena

Crocuta crocutaspotted hyaena


  • although they look like dogs, are more closely related to cats than to dogs.
  • clans are territorial.
  • females are larger than males and dominate them.
  • females in general remain with their natal clan for life,males leave at about 2 years and become nomadic before settling in another clan
  • will breed all year round and almost always give birth to twins. If both of the twins are female, one usually kills the other.

  • cubs have a black/chocolate brown coat for about 3 months and live on milk alone from 6 to 9 months, then they will begin to take solid food and are weaned around 14-15 months.



  • in contrast to e.g. lions, female spotted hyaena only suckle their own cubs.
  • can sprint at 60 km/h and keep up a speed of 40 to 50 km/h over 4 or 5 km.
  • may cover 40 km in a night.
  • are skillfull hunters and will get more than 70% of their food from their own kills.

  • can digest skin and bones, the only parts of prey not fully digested are hair, hooves and horns; these are regurgitated. (see picture)
  • droppings are chalky white due to the high mineral content of the bones they consume.

  • female have genitalia which look identical of that of the male.
  • are considered the most sociable of the carnivores.

Watch a video of Spotted Hyaena at their den in Kruger National Park




Wild Ways – Peter Apps 

Beat about the Bush – Trevor Carnaby

Safari Companion - Richard D. Estes

Behaviour guide to African mammals - Richard D. Estes

Kingdon Field Guide to African mammals - Jonathan Kingdon





Did you know...