Spotted Hyenas


George and Gracie can suck their bottles FLAT in 3 sucks!
Hyena babies on bottle

There are four species of Hyena today. All are native to various parts of Africa. Among these four species are distinct and important differences.

The aardwolf (Proteles cristatus) is found on the flat, sandy Savannah from Egypt to the southern tip of Africa. They are 20 to 30 inches long 18-20 inches tall at the shoulders. They weigh 20 to 30 lb. They have a double coat - an undercoat that is soft and loose with an outer coat of straight guard hairs. They have a bushy tail and a mane that they can erect when excited. Their body is vertically striped with black stripes on a tan body. This animal, although related to one of the most purported vicious carnivores in the world, is actually insectivorous and lives on termites, beetles, maggots (oh yummy!) and very small prey. Their jaws are not strong enough to kill even very small mammals.

The striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) has a dog-like head with pointed ears. They are 40-50 inches long, and weigh about 50 to 125 lb. They stand about 24 to 36 inches tall at the shoulder. Their base color is tan to gray with vertical stripes of dark brown or black on the body and horizontal on the legs. They have a mane about 7 - 8 inches long. They have powerful jaws and can crush the heaviest bones. They eat all sizes of animals of cattle size and smaller as well as feeding on carrion whenever available.

The brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) is the most closely related to the striped hyena and is approximately the same size. It has a long shaggy coat with a dark brown base and lighter colored guard hairs over the shoulder and back area. This hyena feeds mostly on carrion and can also eat eggs, fruit and smaller prey such as lizards, rodents, etc.

Have you hugged YOUR hyena today?
Hyena hugs
Have you hugged your hyena today?

The spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) is the most well-known of the hyenas and has a reputation as being the 'laughing hyena". They are 38 to 66 inches long, and stand about 27 to 36 inches tall. They weigh in at 90 to 200 lb. The females are larger than the males. The body is a tan color with irregularly spaced and sized spots of dark brown to black. Females are the dominant sex in this matriarchal society. They live in close family groups. It is difficult to tell the sex of the hyena by just looking unless it is a pregnant or lactating female. When looking at a male and female you will find that the female has genitalia that resembles the male's exactly right down to the scrotal area.

I personally have had baby hyenas that were receptive to me and handling because I had them on a bottle and was hand-raising them. Both sexes had what looked like a penis and a scrotum. Identical! Without getting explicit because of the scope of the audience to this text, I will suffice it to say that the only way I could tell the difference was to palpate the 'scrotal' area. On the male, there were tiny testes evident while on the female, there was just fibrous tissue. The rest of the 'equipment looked and acted exactly the same'. These hyena prey on medium-sized hoofed animals such as wildebeest, antelope, zebra, etc. especially the young, injured and sick. They not only kill their own prey, they are not opposed to finishing off a meal left by lions, cheetahs and leopards. Watch this FAQs for further information about experiences with my hand-raised babies.

We rarely offer hyenas for sale and when we do we only sell hyena cubs to bona fide zoos. Do not inquire about hyenas without giving all your credentials in your first e-mail if you wish an answer.

Adult Spotted Hyena
Young Spotted Hyena
Young Spotted Hyena - Head Close-up


R-Zu-2-U Home

R-Zu-2-U FAQs

R-Zu-2-U Animal "Terms"

Treasure Ranch Home