The hyena is common in
Kafue national parks. They feed on
carrion but are also hunters in their own
Bones left over at a kill are cracked open
with their powerful jaws and consumed.
Because of the high calcium content in these
bones, hyena droppings are white, like
hyenas are organized into territorial clans
of related individuals that defend their
home ranges against intruding clans. The
center of clan activity is the den, where
the cubs are raised and individuals meet.
The den is usually situated on high ground
in the central part of the territory. Its
above-ground entrances are connected to a
series of underground tunnels.
They live in holes in the ground where they
breed, having one or two in a litter, the
young looking like cute little brown
Their gestation period is three and half
months and they can live up to forty years.
Their drawn out laugh-like call can often be
heard from the camps at night. They usually
move at night but can be seen in the day.
When a hyena's tail is carried straight, for
example, it signals attack. When it is held
up and forward over the back, the hyena is
extremely excited. In contrast, it hangs
down when the hyena is standing or walking
leisurely. If frightened, the hyena tucks
its tail between the legs and flat against
the belly and usually skulks away.
The powerful jaws and digestive tract of the
hyena allow it to process and obtain
nutrients from skin and bones. The only
parts of prey not fully digested are hair,
horns and hooves; these are regurgitated in
the form of pellets.
Among the species that prey on hyenas are
Lions (who will attack them at every
opportunity), hunting dogs and other hyenas.