Our Photo of the Week is of a rarely seen brown hyena captured by ranger Victoria. Brown hyenas are listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List and there are estimated to be less than 10,000 animals in the wild.
Hyenas are disliked by farmers as they are thought to attack their livestock and poultry. This is mostly untrue. Kariega Game Reserve works with local farmers and encourages them to call our conservation team when they find a brown hyena. This conservation outreach is working well and we have been fortunate to capture and release two brown hyenas onto the reserve in the last two years. Watch our video of a previous brown hyena release.
Five Brown Hyena Facts
- Brown hyenas are mostly scavengers, meaning that they feed on already dead and/or rotting animals.
- Brown hyenas play a very important role in controlling disease as they clean up carcasses.
- They will feed on fruit and vegetable matter if nothing else is available.
- They mark their territory by pasting a secretion onto grass stalks.
- Brown hyenas live in big burrows or caves.
It is unknown how many individuals live on Kariega Game Reserve, however, their tracks and more frequent sightings give us hope that the population is growing.
Were you fortunate to see a brown hyena during your stay at Kariega? Post your comments below or share them on our Facebook page, via Twitter and Instagram. You can also upload a video on YouTube and add Kariega Game Reserve in the title.