No denying that Hyena cubs are cute!

During my visit in May 2019, along the main road between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza camps in the Kruger National Park, I was lucky to come across two different spotted hyena clans with youngsters – one group had three babies and the other no less than eight bouncing bundles of joy! And they were bouncing, and biting and bullying, to their hearts content, causing me great amusement but obviously not impressing their mothers very much with their antics…

And just to remind you that spotted hyenas are actually very efficient hunters, I came across this fellow devouring a freshly killed impala very close to Lower Sabie:

35 thoughts on “No denying that Hyena cubs are cute!

  1. T Ibara Photo

    They are very cute, and I love their large ears.
    I agree – hyenas are too often presented in a negative light. I feel we humans are often skewed in our views as to what is “cute” or not. I often imagine what wildlife would be thinking when observing humans… πŸ˜€ As always thank you for sharing and all best to you and family!

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  2. naturebackin

    What a fabulous collection of photos, I have always liked hyenas and think it is unfortunate they are misunderstood and get such a bad press. Once on a walking trail in Mfolozi we came across a hyena that stopped to look at our group of about 8 people. It looked assessingly at each of us in turn straight in the eye with a calm, lofty and bold intensity, and that was a totally humbling experience. Anyway, I really enjoyed these photos. What a special experience. And yes the pups are undeniably cute, even when they are evidently testing the patience of the adults.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Wow, Carol, what a terrific experience that hyena-encounter in Imfolozi must have been! Sounds hair-raising and exhilarating at the same time, being weighed up by a super-predator like that! And a little insulting if even a hyena then decides it’s not worth it… πŸ˜€
      We love finding hyenas, they almost always appear to be so dedicated to what they are busy with! Only sometimes it seems the mommies want to throw their hands in the air and give up… πŸ˜€

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      1. naturebackin

        Luckily for us it looked like it had a full tummy 😊 And sometimes being rejected is good 😊 We were also each secretly trying to weigh up which one of us might appear to be the weakest!
        I know what you mean about them seeming dedicated as they seem to be very intense. They have amazing eyes so their gaze can be very intimidating.

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  3. Joanne Sisco

    I love the “jungle gym” photo with the mother looking straight into the camera while the cubs are climbing all over her. The expression on her face looks like exhausted resignation. It’s hilarious! πŸ™‚

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I bet every human parent knows that same feeling, and I am sure if she could she would have asked me for a lift that morning, just to get away from the babies for a little while. Poor soul!
      πŸ˜€

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Daar is min gewaarborgde dinge in die Wildtuin, Una, maar dat mens vroeg-oggend hienas tussen Skukuza en Pretoriuskop gaan sien is een daarvan sover dit my aangaan.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I am sure if you spend a little time with them and get to know them better you’ll find that they are much more interesting than a bunch of lazy lions, Lulu!

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  4. John

    Sure, they are cute, the little lives!😊 Hyenas are unfortunately not as popular as the other predators, but they are very important for the ecosystem. Most people think they are just scavengers, but their food consists of about 80% of animals that they hunt.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I think people mostly underestimate hyenas, mostly because they were (and still are often) portrayed as cowardly scavengers. As far as I am concerned anything that is bold enough to see a fully grown zebra stallion as potential prey deserves to be treated with respect!

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