𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘏𝘺𝘦𝘯𝘢 (𝙃𝙮𝙚𝙣𝙖 𝙗𝙧𝙪𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙖) 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘢 "𝘉𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘞𝘰𝘭𝘧" 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘢𝘯𝘴 (𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧); 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴, 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥. 𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘏𝘺𝘦𝘯𝘢.
Brown Hyenas occur in the southern African sub-region: Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Republic of South Africa and Namibia. The total population size of brown hyenas is estimated to be between 4000 and 8000 animals, which make them one of the rarest large African carnivores.
They can be distinguished from other hyenas by their long shaggy hair, which is dark brown or black on the body and lighter coloured on the neck and shoulders. Adults grow 130 cm to 160 cm in body length, with males weighing 47 kg and females around 42 kg on average.
The front legs of brown hyena are horizontally striped, (resembling zebra stripes) and are much longer than their hind legs, resulting in their shoulders being higher than their rumps. Their heads are large with less hair than the rest of their body and they have long pointed ears.
𝘼 𝙜𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙥/𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙤𝙛 𝙃𝙮𝙚𝙣𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙖 "𝘾𝙡𝙖𝙣".
Brown hyenas have a social hierarchy comparable to that of wolves, with a mated pair and their offspring. They live in clans composed of extended families of four to six individuals. Some males and females may turn into solitary nomads. Females either mate with a dominant alpha male, or nomadic males that venture into the clan’s territory.
The mating season is usually from May to August, depending on the availability of food. Females give birth in isolated dens and and a few weeks later, move their young to the rest of the clan. One to five pups are born after a gestation period of up to 100 days. They will drink from the mother up to fourteen months of age.
Brown hyenas are primarily scavengers, eating a wide variety of small vertebrates, insects and fruits. They usually forage alone, but several animals even from different clans may gather to feed on a large carcass. They are most active at night, but become more active in the day, when food is scarce.
One of their unique habits is called pasting - a form of scent marking from their anal glands. They send out two kinds of messages with their pasting: Lighter coloured, longer-lasting and stronger-smelling paste is used to mark territories and warn off other hyenas. Darker, temporary paste, milder-smelling, is used to let other clan members know that they've checked the area for food and have eaten it, so as not to duplicate efforts. So Clever!
Just like with Jackals and certain other scavengers, Hyenas are the cleaning crew of the bush, and they are highly resistant to bacterial infections that could kill other animals. They perform a critical role in a balanced ecosystem, and should be protected against extinction.
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