- The spotted hyena is the largest and most prevalent among the four hyena species.
- Hyenas possess formidable jaws and teeth capable of crushing bones and tearing flesh.
- With a bite force of approximately 1,100 pounds per square inch (psi), hyenas have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom.
The video starts with a man lying on the ground next to an animal that looks like a large, spotted dog. He gently strokes its fur and tickles its belly, clearly having a great time with his pet.
But as the camera zooms in, you realize that this is not a dog at all. It’s a hyena! A spotted hyena, to be exact, is the largest and most common of the four hyena species. Hyenas are known for their powerful jaws and teeth, which can crush bones and tear flesh. They have a bite force of about 1,100 pounds per square inch (psi), one of the strongest in the animal kingdom. They are also excellent hunters and scavengers, feeding on everything from antelopes to zebras to hippos when the opportunity arises. So… why is a man tickling a hyena?
Despite their reputation as ruthless predators, hyenas are highly intelligent, curious, and social animals. They live in large groups called clans, which can have up to 80 members. They communicate with each other using a variety of sounds, the most famous of which is their “laugh” which is equal parts creepy to humans and useful for how they talk to each other. They also have complex relationships and hierarchies within their clans, with females being dominant over males.
Developing Relationships With Dangerous Animals
Some people might wonder how the man in the video can play with a hyena so casually as if it were a harmless pet. The truth is that he is not an ordinary person but a professional who has dedicated his life to studying and caring for these animals.
He also likely how to read its body language and signals and how to avoid provoking or upsetting it. This is not something that anyone can do, and it takes years of training and decades of experience to achieve. Hyenas are still wild and dangerous animals, and they should never be treated as pets or toys by regular people. Only experts like him can safely handle them, and even then, they always take precautions and risks!
Is it Normal for Hyenas to Let Humans Touch Them?
While young pet hyenas may enjoy belly rubs and human contact, their aggressive instincts intensify as they mature. This is reflective of their innate nature as wild and predatory animals.
Additionally, hyenas are known to scavenge on human corpses, they typically exhibit caution around humans and are considered less dangerous compared to the large cats with whom they share territory.
Further, Hyenas similar to wolves generally exhibit unfriendly behavior towards other carnivores. Hyenas engage in fierce and sometimes fatal battles with lions and African wild dogs, often asserting dominance over kills and territory.
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