A Brown Hyena ( Hyaena brunnea, formerly Parahyaena brunnea ) just after drinking at the waterhole in Bitterpan in The Kgalagadi Transfontier Park in South Africa. This is a species of hyena which occurs in Namibia, Botswana, western and southern Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique and South Africa. It is the rarest species of hyena and very difficult to spot. This is actually the only sighting I have ever had.
Brown hyenas have social hierarchy comparable to those of wolves, with an alpha male and alpha female. They are social animals that may live in clans consisting of one adult of each gender and associated young, though there are reports of clans composed of four males and six females. It is thought that in the latter situation, there is at least one dominant male. Brown hyenas maintain a stable clan hierarchy through ritualized aggressive displays and mock fights. They typically forage alone, and do not maintain a territory, instead using common hunting paths.
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