Hyenas generally live in family groups, or clans, led by a dominant adult female. The clan sizes can vary from three up to about fifteen individuals living within a defended territory marked by communal scat or dung middens. Another way of marking their territory is with secretions from a gland between the hind legs which they usually secrete on strings of long grass. Most of the time they do this at night, but sometimes they also roam around during the day.

A common misconception is that they are purely scavengers. However, they do hunt for themselves as well, mainly killing antelopes and on occasion buffalo and zebra.

They do not have a specific breeding season; they reproduce throughout the year, having between one and three pups at a time weighing around 1,5kg (the gestation period is around 110 days). They pups will generally be born in burrows or abandoned termite mounds.

The average life span of the hyena is around 16 years in the wild, but in captivity they can live up to about 25 years.

A very interesting and fascinating creature of the Bushveld.

Freedom – Kapama River Lodge

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