Awwww, who’s a GOOD hyena!

November 5, 2008

The actual caption for this photo tells us this dude is “posing” with a hyena. Now, in the city where I live, hyena-posing hasn’t really caught on yet, so I decided to look into this a bit more.

It turns out it’s not all that unusual to see street entertainers in Nigeria with “trained” hyenas. They travel to the places where they work in public taxis. I am not making that up.

“Eeeewwwwww, driver! What’s that smell? Was your last passenger a hyena, or what? Oh.”

Our lawyers asked me to make clear that this blog does not endorse random hyena-posing on city streets. If you DO run across a downtown hyena, here are some ice-breakers to say to the owner:

  • “Hey Buddy! You gonna pick that up?”
  • “Are you sure he can’t break that cardboard leash?'”
  • “Awwww, look – he smells the fresh gazelle meat in my pocket!”
  • “I’ll bet I can outrun him! Really!”

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A man poses with a hyena along a street in Lagos, November 4, 2008. REUTERS/ Akintunde Akinleye

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he looks pretty friendly to me 😐

Posted by Annie | Report as abusive

Everything looks friendly up until moments before it isn’t.

Posted by Henry | Report as abusive

lol, i guess that is true.

Posted by Annie | Report as abusive

Sheesh it’s just a dog…How is this any worse than posing with a Rottweiler?

Posted by – | Report as abusive

Hyenas are not dogs. They’re also wild animals, i.e., not domesticated. It may be tame, but it’s still wild.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

I want one

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

This reminded me of this gallery: html where some nice Nigerians show off their “pets”. It seems as if aside from monkeys and dogs, hyenas are pretty popular down there.

Posted by Björn | Report as abusive

Okay, so it’s not a dog, but it is the same type of creature with similar habits. The point is the same. Either a Rottweiler or a hyena could rip your throat out, yet we see morons walking untrained attack dogs down the street every day, and they are never a problem either until the moment they decide to do something nasty. The guy in the picture probably has more control over his hyena than most people do over their domesticated dogs.

…and by the way tame is the opposite of wild. I think what you were trying to say is that domesticating a wild animal does not mean it won’t go back to its primal nature at an unexpected moment. Ditto for some breeds of domesticated dogs. It’s why Pitbulls are always in the news.

Posted by – | Report as abusive

anyone else getting flash-backs to the Lion King…? maybe it’s just me as my 3 year old is obsessed, but i keep hearing the words “Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa” with another hyena laughing in the background…

Posted by tbare | Report as abusive

I never did meet my ex’s new husband.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive

Its NOT a Dog and its not even close to the same creature of a Dog or its Habits….

A Spotted Hyena can grow up to 220 LBS… its much more intelligent, much more fierce, much biger, much more powerfull, much more stamina than a Dog… AND last but not least its 2nd most powerfull Jaws in the world behind the Crocodile, has the most powerfull Jaws of any land animal in this world.

My point is, a single quick good serious bite from a Spotted Hyena on lets say your arm would immediately crush it like a tooth pick, would literally amputate your arm in half…. in a similar bite from a Rottweiler, you will only get some small holes……

Spotted Hyenas hunt cattle in Africa, which means not only are Humans and their Cattle victims… but also its “protectors”, dogs, big dogs, you name it.. they hunt and eat dogs for breakfast in Africa everyday…

They are 5 times smaller than Lions, but yet they are the only Predators in this world that Rival the Lions… they even kill Lions, Male Lions, eat them and their puppies at times and steil their food whenever they wish…


Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

The Hyena may look similar to a dog but it is infact more closely related to the cat family. It’s jaw muscles and teeth are strong enough to crush large boned (the teeth exert a pressure of 800kg/cm or 211400lb/in2) and it’s powerful digestive system can break down organic matters of bones, hooves, horns and hides; no other animal has this ability. Female Hyenas usually produce twins but the cubs are so genetically programmed to attack they often turn on siblings! Born with fully developed canine teeth and with sibling aggression running so high, around half of all mothers are destined to bring up a single cub. Not really a dog now is it!

Posted by Elsie | Report as abusive