The safari industry has historically done an injustice to the wild, living things that we are privileged to witness on our game drives or walking safaris.
All the talk is about seeing the proverbial Big Five (leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo) which is actually derived from a description of the five most dangerous animals to hunt. In fact there are so many other interesting creatures to see on safari, such as a spotted hyena.
The spotted hyena (crocuta crocuta) is associated with being a scavenger, when in fact the majority of its food (up to 90%) is actually hunted. Whereas the lion, perceived as the most capable hunter, is actually more of a scavenger with about 50% of its food coming from carrion, often animals killed by hyenas!
Here are some fast facts about the spotted hyena:
– They are the most prolific hunter in Kruger National Park.
– Contrary to popular belief they don’t have the most powerful jaws in the animal kingdom. The jaws of the orca may be 20 times as powerful!
– Females rule, having more testosterone than males.
– They may be smarter than chimpanzees.
– They will eat anything! There’s even a recorded case of four adults killing a hippopotamus in the Kruger National Park.
The Klaserie is well populated with this great hunter and they are seen by almost every visitor. They interact with other predators, including lions and wild dogs, in the pursuit of food. They are voracious and will consume a kill rapidly (bones and all). Senalala visitors also get to hear their vocalisations, almost nightly, and it is one one of the elements of the camp that gives it that quintessential bush experience.
- Subscribe to our newsletter.