After more than 10 years of working in the wildlife guiding industry this was a very exciting first for me.
Listed as near-threatened by the IUCN the Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) is one of the smallest true hyenas.
The Striped Hyena is dog like in appearance and at first glance, when we spotted it from the front, we mistook it for a Brown Hyena. As with the Brown Hyena a crest of long hair, running from the head to the tail, is erected in situations of conflict to make the hyena look larger and more intimidating.
The behaviour of the Striped Hyena is also more in line with the Brown Hyena who is solitary and doesn’t form big clans like the Spotted Hyena which is way more wide spread than the other two species.
Spread sparsely throughout North, Central and East Africa all the way to the Middle East and Asia, the Striped Hyena is primarily a scavenger but will feed opportunistically on fruit, seeds and eggs while also killing it’s own prey on occasion.
Heading to Lake Nakuru National Park recently I would never have dreamed of seeing one of these elusive animals and it was pretty awesome to add a ‘lifer’ to my list. When talking about birds this is one thing but it’s not all that often you get to see a new mammal species out in the African bush and this was a lifer for all 8 of our guests!
It just goes to show that you never know what you are going to get when you head out on safari and that is exactly why we keep on going back again and again. And again. And again.
Until next time.