Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
One of the most misunderstood animals. Spotted Hyenas are the strongest and most capable hunters of any predator of its size. They are heavily built, weighing 50-80 kg (110-175 lbs), by comparison a Rottweiler dog weighs around 45-60 kg. Even though they look dog-like they are more closely related to cats.
Highly intelligent, they hunt as individuals (like this one after a young cape buffalo) and also in groups from 2-30. Able to travel long distances while running at 60 kph (37 mph) they will usually pick out the young or weak from the herd.
They eat practically every part of the animal, including skin, hooves, bone, and teeth. Powerful jaws are able to crush bones with ease.
Spotted or “Laughing” hyenas have over 11 different distinctive vocalizations including a laugh, whoop, grunting, growling, and yelling. We were awaken nearly every night to their calls.