Taken at Kruger National Park, South Africa
I found this Spotted Hyaena only 10 minutes from the gate after entering the Park one morning. It was carrying remnants of a carcass to a secluded spot away from the road (and likely the other hyaena or animals where it was found). Hyaenas are incorrectly thought to be predominantly scavengers, and although they do scavenge from other carnivores, statistically, they hunt for themselves 80% of the time. In fact, lions are more likely to steal food off hyaena, not the other way around!
Unfortunately, the media encourages the negative perception of these beautiful animals. Even Disney, when making the Lion King, was asked by a research institute in California (where they observed movements of captive Spotted Hyaena) to show them in a better, and more accurate, light because of the influence the company has over children’s views. They responded by naming one of the hyaena “Shenzi” which means slovenly.