Hyenas on the rampage

Since late last year and the beginning of this year, conflict levels have drastically reduced. Lion attacks on livestock have been few and far in between and this has made the work of various stakeholders within the Amboseli ecosystem, including our Lion Guardians, a bit easy. However, hyenas, the most hated animal by any pastoralist, seem to have other ideas! Their attacks on livestock have been on the increase every single day and they are now practically on the rampage. Their attacks on livestock, at bomas and in the bush when they get lost, are now stretching communal tolerance towards carnivores. Reports of their attacks are not confined to a particular locality, rather they are widely distributed across the ecosystem.

Hyenas killing a calf

The Maasai community respect and admire lions because they cannot attack livestock unless they are hungry. And even when they do, they kill only what they can eat. For example in a herd of 100 cows, they only kill one. But hyenas kill any moving livestock even if they can no longer eat, which is why they are so disliked by pastoralists!

Spotted hyena can eat up to one third of its body weight


  • Dana says:

    Oh no this is not good. I’m afraid that the people will put out poision on the killed livestock to kill the hyena’s and that will in turn kill any scavengers: lions, jackals, vultures, etc. How are the hyena’s getting into the boma’s?

  • sauwah says:

    i agree w/dana there. when the livestock owners are so desperate and angry, they might use poison. and sadly lions will be the victims along w/vultures. so i have heard many lions were poisoned and the poisoning was aimed at hyenas.

    at least lions are not be blamed for the loss of livestock by hyenas this time unlike the finding in samburu.

    i have never seen a skinny hyena, has any one ? and they sure can eat!

  • Lion Guardians says:

    Hyenas can get into poorly built bomas, or poorly maintained ones. One function of the Lion Guardians is to help improve bomas. In 2011 Lion Guardians reinforced 244 bomas. We revisited 85% of these bomas and fewer than 1% reported any futher depredation.

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