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Hyenas on the Hunt

A pack of three hyenas, a mom and two of her young, trotted in tuned to the smell of the lion’s kill. The young ones went to check it out. But she knew better. The hyenas need group of five to take on lion, so they sauntered off and came back later, once the lions were through, to crunch on the bones.


(Click photo to enlarge; looks better large)


Hyenas often get the leftover bones, and they produce a white scat rich in calcium. It was often used by the local people to make a powder to aid in healing burns.


But the spotted hyena is not primarily a scavenger; it will kill up to 95% of its food supply, scare off larger predators, and is the most social of the hyenas.


From their appearance and bone structure, some see elements of dog (hunting habits and paws) and some see cat (grooming, mating and social behavior). More recent genetic analysis concludes they are a different evolutionary branch altogether, of the family Hyaenidae.

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Taken on June 30, 2011