Brown Hyena - Hyaena brunnea

Brown hyenas really are brown with whitish manes and very long, shaggy hair -- particularly compared to spotted hyenas. They prefer dry areas but can be found in the Okavango Detla. Best viewing however, is in the Kalahari, expecially the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. They were once thought to be quite closely related to striped hyenas, but may be more closely related to spotted hyenas instead. Typical of its family, with a bulky head and back sloping toward the rear, the brown hyena has long, rough hair over much of its body, with a mane of even longer hair on the neck and shoulders. This hyena is usually dark brown to brownish-black in color, with a lighter-brown mane and legs. Unless in a family group, the brown hyena is solitary, but it sometimes gathers with others in a hunting pack or at a big carcass. It lives in a large territory, which it marks with secretions from anal scent glands and with feces.During the day, the brown hyena sleeps among rocks or tall grass. Otherwise, it may find a burrow, often one left by another animal, such as an aardvark. It emerges at night to find carrion or to hunt prey such as rodents, birds, including poultry, reptiles or wounded large animals. A litter of 2 to 4 young is born in a burrow after a gestation of 92 to 98 days. The young are suckled for about 3 months but remain with their parents for up to 18 months, during which the male brings them food. Although protected in game reserves, brown hyenas are considered pests because of their habit of attacking livestock, and large numbers have been killed by farmers.