Shenzi, Banzai, or Ed? Hyenas are often cast as the villain. They play an important part in the food chain. Say hello to a spotted hyena who lives in Southwick Zoo. Most of us think of them as dog like, but they are really more closely related to cats.
This hyena looks rather timid, but don’t let that fool you. It’s jaw can apply 100 pounds of bone crunching pressure.
Some other interesting facts about hyenas:
They are mammals who live in groups of up to 80 called clans where females dominate.
They survive about 19 years in the wild, 25 years in captivity.
They can be the size of a German Shepard, weighing between 110 and 190 pounds on average.
The females are larger and more aggressive than the males.
Currently hyenas are considered common in Africa, but this could change with a drought which may have drastic effects on the food chain.