spotted hyaena

The World of Hyaenas

I’m a massive fan of hyaenas.  They’re comical, cheeky and downright cute if you look at them from the right angle.  One person who agrees with me is Dr Martina Trinkel, who was studying spotted hyaenas in Etosha National Park when I was studying black-faced impalas for my PhD many years ago.  We both lived at the research camp at Okaukeujo, but for my first six months I barely knew her, as being a researcher of a nocturnal predator, she would go out at sunset to look for hyaenas just as I was coming back for a good night sleep after a day of studying impalas.  I would see her return home in the early hours of the morning, just as I was heading out.  You’ve got to be dedicated to be a predator researcher, out all night in the desert cold, patiently seeking elusive animals in the dark, but as this interview with Martina shows, she developed a huge respect for the hyaenas we all know and love from ‘The Lion King’.