Spotted Hyena - Crocuta crocuta

Spotted hyena is the larges most common hyena. At night, spotted hyenas wage a relentless and feaful boundary war with other hyenas clans and also with resident lion prides.

The hyena has a huge skull with extremely powerful jaws and forequarters. They have large ears and a sloping back. Its strong jaw holds outer incisors that work as extra canines. It has an anal scent gland and is believed to have glands between the toes to mark its territory. Genitalia is identically masculine in both sexes until puberty.

They have been much underrated as predators. While they will scavenge if food is availiable they are proficent hunters in their own right.

Hyena play a valubale role in controlling the spread of disease by cleaning up dead animals before the meat can rot.

The unwary visitor to Savuti who leaves food in an accessible place for hyenas is sure to be relieved of it overnight. Foor in this instance includes toiletries, kitchenware, clothing and even binoculars! Due to the high bone content of their diet their scat turns a chalky white when dry which makes the social latrines that are used to demarcate boundaries, highly visible.