Hyenas: Okavango Delta

The spotted hyena (also known as “the laughing hyena”) is a common sighting in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. The spotted hyena’s success in the Delta is attributable to its adaptability and resourcefulness. The animals usually live and travel in groups called “clans,” which can consist of up to 80 members. Hyenas can reach speeds of 35 miles/hour 56 km/h). These dog-like animals actually bear some resemblance to big cats and have been known to both hunt and scavenge for food. They are omnivores and have been known eat plants in addition to fish, birds and insects. Hyenas give birth to twins (that is, two pups at a time) and the mothers usually stay with their young for a period of one year, at which point they can almost fend for themselves. The aardwolf is the hyena’s closest relative.