Hyenas (or Hyaenas) are moderately large terrestrial carnivores native to Africa and Asia, and members of the family Hyaenidae. Although hyenas look rather like large dogs, they make up a separate biological family which is most closely related to Herpestidae (the family of mongooses and meerkats).
In ancient times, large hyenas ranged over much of Europe and Asia, but they are much reduced in range and diversity today. Only four species survive: the Spotted, Brown, and Striped Hyenas (which together make up the subfamily Hyaeninae), and the Aardwolf, which is the only member of the subfamily Protelinae.
In Africa today, Hyenas are associated with sorcery in folklore. The Zulu nation, under Shaka Zulu, feared the power of hyenas.
Hyenas have no illusions about their power, and only hunt the prey they are able to at the specific time (four hyenas, for example, wouldn‘t even try hunting down a zebra).
However, hyenas have learned to deal with this and usually they are fortunate enough to call more of the clan together and take their prey back, unless an adult male lion is present, as male lions seem to truly terrify hyenas and hyenas rarely challenge them.
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