YES, A Striped Hyena does make a noise like a camel in distress!!

When I first started bloging a year and a half ago, I asked this question….. does a striped hyena, make a noise like a camel in distress? but never got an answer!? Not much known about these beautiful/extraordinary animals? or maybe my blog is not reaching out to the right people?. Is what I have been asking my self!.. But Last night, we watched in absolute dismay as two male Striped hyena fought to the death, completely silent the fight was, all we saw to start with was dust, and two animals battling it out, the loser which was much bigger, kept on trying to run away, but the winner just kept coming, and he had one intention… To kill his rival, which he did savagely, with no distractions , in the end he had him on his back, and he was shaking him like a rag doll… We were utterly amazed at the silence of the fight, not a sound from both sides… The triumphant one left the other for dead, or almost, he lay there, but he wasn’t there in the morning… took off back in the direction that the fight had started, about a kilometre away..

Soon after this extraordinary noise, the same one that we have heard twice before, absolutely like a camel in trouble, rang across the country side… We rushed back to check it out unfortunately we had a weak torch, so could not see too much, and we thought that the fight was continuing, but we realised it was very different behaviour, and it seemed that the female, if it was indeed a female! was putting up quite a fight as well!… But all most like fisti-cuffs, not serious stuff… They then disappeared out of site and sound… We heard nothing more…

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  1. Posted October 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting. Must have been a dramatic to watch and hear.

  2. Katherine, NYC
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the Striped Hyena is truly an under-studied species by conservation biologists.
    As they are mostly nocturnal and solitary they don’t vocalized except when in the presence of other predators, or others of their species. Apparently, the cubs whine when suckling. Giggling and yelling can occur when a Striped Hyena is frightened or being chased by other predators. And (as was noted in a scientific paper) “…A LONG-DRAWN LOWING SOUND ACCOMPANIES THE DEFENSIVE POSTURE”. Could that be the camel-like vocalization?

    Being nocturnal and solitary makes them much harder to find and study then the diurnal, sociable, Spotted Hyenas who have a vast repertoire of vocal communications for alerting their clan members to food, other predators, or to get a hunt organized.

    The smaller, solitary Striped hyenas hunt only small creatures and will eat anything they can overpower – rodents, lizards, hares. However, they mostly scavenge other kills, dung, and yes, human garbage and also eat fruit. This varied diet makes living close to humans fairly comfortable as they usually do not make trouble for them or their livestock and aren’t thought of as a food item for humans. Also their coats are not appealing for the human market either – which all together makes them rather fortunate creatures!

    I think all 3 hyena species (Spotted, Striped and Brown) are beautiful and fascinating!

  3. Posted October 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    wow. what a thing to see. incredible. hope you and the milgis are well and that youve had some rain about.
    when kerry and i were in the karisias once we were woken in the middle of the night by what we thought was one of the camels being killed. the noise ran though, fast across our camp. We figured a lion had got one and was dragging it very fast toward the forest. when we got to the guys and the camels though they said that it was a leopard who had been stepping over the corner of Patiri’s bed. Patiri had sprung along with everyone else and the cat had just run making this most incredible noise which none of us had ever heard before. It was exactly like a camel in distress… 20 minutes later the same leopard was back and prowling around the periphery of camp . he was an odd cat.
    Cheers, jamie

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