Hyena roams Johannesburg

By Kirstin Buick
26 September 2013

Twitter has been aflutter with reports of a hyena spotted in Johannesburg. Tweeters in Northcliff and then Delta Park and Blairgowrie reported seeing the brown hyena in the streets this morning.

At first, users were sceptical the animal was actually a hyena:

https://twitter.com/colinbraude/status/383108603738996736

https://twitter.com/JamiePoultney/status/383092376627318784

Jokes abounded, and someone even created a Twitter account for the animal:

https://twitter.com/mattclayton89/status/383107463803060226

https://twitter.com/JoziHyena/status/383115960514650112

However, one man eventually managed to snap a picture of the animal wondering around the Randburg Civic Centre.

https://twitter.com/702JohnRobbie/status/383107768967634944

The picture shows the animal is a brown hyena, the rarest of its species. Like the better-known spotted hyena, the brown hyena has a strong muscular neck and shoulders, and less developed hind legs. They’re known to cover vast areas alone in search of food, and could travel up to 40 km in one night. The scavengers will eat nearly anything they can find, from insects and fruit to mammals. They’re “aggressive” scavengers, in that they’ve been known to kill jackals, cheetahs and leopard for their food. Despite this, they’re poor hunters, and live prey makes up a small percentage of their diet. Only spotted and striped hyena have been known to attack humans.

Eventually Johannesburg Zoo and SPCA officials managed to dart the hyena with a tranquilliser in Blairgowrie, Randburg. The SPCA says it plans to release the animal back into the wild.

https://twitter.com/ewnupdates/status/383135170066259968

https://twitter.com/ewnupdates/status/383133469032722432

-Kirstin Buick

Sources: strandwolf.org, mg.co.za, ewn.co.za

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