Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

The Elusive Brown Hyena

The Brown Hyena is a fairly reclusive and shy animal, but lately guides and guests alike have been lucky enough to get some really great sightings of these shaggy beasts.

Not a lot is known about these odd looking animals, but they are often seen cleaning up and carrying away the remains of carcasses left behind by lions or cheetahs after they have had their fill. Literature will often claim that the brown hyena does not hunt, but camera traps on the reserve have shown photos of them carrying whole springbuck and hares, which they can only have gained by catching themselves. Their diet also consists of insects, rodents and even wild fruits if available.

In certain parts of Africa, they are referred to as the ‘strandwolf’ or ‘jut’, literally meaning ‘beach wolf’. This is because they are often seen roaming Skeleton Coast of Namibia, where they predominantly prey upon Cape fur seal pups.

If you are observant enough, you will see the signs of these elusive beasts all over the reserve. They use ‘’middens’, which are easy distinguished by the white calcium rich droppings they leave in their territory.

Blog by Ranger, Marco Fitchet.

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