Posts Tagged ‘Brown hyena’

No one got this “Identify the species” query.

But those who guessed striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena) were very close.

These are brown hyenas (Hyaena brunnea), which are in the same genus.

Brown hyenas are native to only Southern Africa, while striped hyenas have much larger range in North and East Africa and in the Middle East and South Asia.

These are the “less sexy” hyenas that don’t often appear on nature programs.

In Namibia the brown hyena is called the “strand wolf,” which in German and Afrikaans means “beach wolf.”  That’s because a large population of these hyenas has taken to living very close the Skeleton Coast, eating whatever washes up on the beach. Some of these brown hyenas have also learned to hunt Cape fur seals pups that are born on Namibia’s beaches.


But just to be fair, here’s a photo of some striped hyena cubs that are about the same age as these brown hyenas:

It’s hard to tell them apart.




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The brown hyenas of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast are known to hunt Cape fur seals in this manner.

In two of Namibia’s official languages (German and Afrikaans), the name for this animal is Strandwolf.  It literally means “beach wolf.”

Sir David Attenborough also makes a mistake in this piece.

Did you catch it?

It’s the first time I ever caught in saying something wrong about an animal.

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