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Old 11th April 2008, 02:31 PM   #5
Mark's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988

They do make very impressive K9 units, don't they?

In Harar, Ethiopia, there was a famous guy they called the Hyena Man. He would sit out on the road at night and feed the wild hyenas that always come around to scavenge. He had quite an act, giving them bones and scraps by hand, sometimes holding them in his mouth, and even smacking away the sneaky ones that tried to dip into his bag of treats on the sly. It was a popular tourist attraction, and he made his modest living from tips. He was basically a homeless guy that earned the hyenas' trust - he said they were his only friends. He's long dead now, but I have heard that in more recent years someone else has taken up the act, how successfully I do not know. Its not the kind of profession where you can afford a job-related accident.

I had my own fun encounter with hyenas while living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Even in Addis, the hyenas would some into town to scavenge (not all the way downtown, but pretty far into the edges of town). You could always hear them barking at night. They were even known to take down unprotected donkeys. I and some friends went out horseback riding in the hills one day, and two of us got separated from the others and took the wrong valley down out of the hills. We ended up way east of where we should have been, and the sun set while we were still pretty far from town. As we walked our horses home across fields (which were criss-crossed by gullys cut during the rainy season, making riding out of the question in the dark), I noticed a line of hyenas trotting parallel to us in the gloom, about fifty yards off to the right, between us and the city. That made us a little, um, nervous.

They behaved themselves until we were almost home, then pounced! We were ripped to shreds. They didn't even find the bodies, though my glasses were discovered in a pile of hyena poop a few days later.

Actually, they followed us all the way into town, for over an hour, until we reached the gate of a missionary compound, which we decided to cut through (the gate-keeper was very understanding).
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