The spotted hyaena is often scorned as a carrion eater, although it actually makes a valuable contribution to the ecological balance in the nature parks. Hyaenas have the strongest teeth and jaws of all the animal species and can even crack the bones of the biggest prey. When they turn up in a pack, they don't confine themselves to the removal of animal corpses, but also go hunting for living animals. Antelopes are their favourite prey. However, they can become dangerous to man as well.

Hyaenas live in small packs, with a female usually being the leader. The groups are rarely bigger than ten animals. They demarcate their territory with urine and faeces and chase members of other packs away.

Junge Hyäne

Spotted hyenas are nocturnal animals. They spend most of the day in earth holes. The young ones stay in these caves for a long time. They are fed until the age of one year and only start eating meat when they first - at about nine months of age - go hunting with the grown-ups.

Game Reserves: Best to watch in the Etosha National Park.