How Long Does a Hyena Live?

how long does a hyena live

Hyenas are predators in the wild that consume birds, insects, small mammals and reptiles as their diet.

These big brains have evolved to remember individual voices and ranks of clan members, helping them negotiate the strict social hierarchy without unnecessary conflict. A familiar whoop is used as a signal between clan members to signify that an animal kill has occurred.


Hyenas may be devalued and misunderstood, yet these four-legged predators should not be underestimated or disregarded as intelligent hunters with an impressive lifespan. Spotted hyenas in particular have an astonishing 20 year lifespan in the wild despite often being hunted by larger animals such as lions, wild dogs, and leopards – an astonishing achievement in itself!

Hyenas are extremely sociable animals that live in large clans of up to 80 members, led by an alpha female that dominates. Male members submissively follow her instructions when it comes to decision-making within the clan. Hyenas are great hunters, preying upon animals several times their size with an incredible 74% success rate when hunting as a group compared with carnivores such as cheetahs or lions that have far lower success rates.

Spotted hyenas can typically be found roaming grasslands, savannahs and woodlands in the wild; their dens are generally located beneath rocks or in crevices in these environments. Brown hyenas prefer bushlands with dense bush cover or heavily grazed arid plains for habitat; while stripey stripedd hyenas prefer semi-desert areas.

A hyena’s lifespan depends on numerous factors, such as its genetics and ability to stay healthy. Poor genes or stress could lead to disease which ultimately reduces lifespan; furthermore, fighting among animals of the same or different species increases injury risks and may cause fatalities.

Hyenas have an exceptional immune system, and rarely fall ill from diseases or parasites; however, they are susceptible to parasites and bacteria infections; injuries may also cause their demise due to encounters with other hyenas or large predators like lions and leopards.

Hyenas can live for 25 years in captivity due to reduced stress levels and plentiful food supplies. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to interact with other hyenas and people, further enriching their quality of life.


Spotted hyenas are versatile hunters and scavengers. They feed on whatever is available to them, from carrion and dead animals to bones, hooves and horns from other animals they find, breaking them down to extract nutrients for digestion. Furthermore, they store difficult-to-obtain items in caches until later returning for food use; their feces spread plant seeds.

Hyenas are highly social animals that live in clans. They defend group territories and abide by a matriarchal dominance hierarchy in which females take precedence over males. Spotted hyenas often work together when hunting larger prey such as wildebeest and antelope; additionally they feed on small prey such as mice, insects and unattended bird eggs.

Hunting hyenas are predators with sharp eyesight who use stalking tactics to get close enough for an attack. If their prey is too large for one animal to kill alone, hyenas will grab their prey by the neck and strangle it before swallowing its carcass whole. Strong jaws and teeth allow these animals to devour meat that may otherwise be hard for them to bite into directly.

Hyenas can live for 25-30 years in captivity and have even reached 41 years old! While they might make cute and entertaining pets, keeping a captive hyena requires many things: an outdoor enclosure large enough to house it all safely; house calls from an available veterinarian; regular raw meat supplies from reliable suppliers and an expensive home insurance policy to protect its wellbeing.

Hyenas are omnivorous predators and scavengers who specialize in meat. As they have powerful stomach muscles that enable them to break down bones easily, hyenas are among the best at scavenging dead animals as they scavenge for supplies at dead animal landfill sites and can store hard-to-obtain foods in caches while dispersing seeds through feces – making them keystone predators within an ecosystem.


Hyenas have an array of habitats in which they live. They may inhabit deserts, mountains and forests as well as swamps, savannas, or even polar regions. Africa is home to the striped hyena which plays an essential part of its ecosystem by eating waste products that would otherwise cause disease transmission; its large ears help detect noise caused by other predators while its incredible hearing allows it to hear sounds humans cannot. Hyenas also use special glands called anal glands to mark their territories using unique scents from anal glands located on anal glands on anal glands – just another unique aspect of their diversity!

The hyena is an omnivore that feeds on both meat and plants. With strong jaws that can crush bones and an appetite that can accommodate up to 14.5 kilograms of food in its stomach, the hyena scavenges dead animals as well as hunting live prey; its powerful sense of smell allows it to detect other animals from miles away which helps when searching for prey that other predators may have missed.

Hyenas may not be considered predators, but they will charge any animal that tries to take their kills, including leopards. Hyenas will consume their own prey as well as that from other animals including antelope, wildebeest, hippos, birds, jackals, lizards, porcupines snakes or any scavengers such as termites with caution as these insects secrete poison.

Hyenas are highly social animals that tend to form groups called clans. These social units are led by dominant animals and have an intricate dominance hierarchy with females having higher status than males in terms of dominance hierarchy, cubs inheriting their mothers’ positions within the clan; immigrant males often outrank resident ones and even overtake a dominant female when entering.

Environment has an immense effect on the lifespan of hyenas, with diet quality playing an especially significant role. Competition between animals of the same species as well as predators also plays a significant role. Poor genetics, diet, and stress all play key roles in shortening lifespan; captive hyenas tend to outlive wild ones with some even living up to 20 years!


Hyenas have long been stereotyped as vicious, cunning creatures in popular culture; however, their reputation should not reflect reality. Hyenas can be found scavenging for food across Africa, the Middle East, and Eurasia and are part of Feliformia (Felidae), an order which encompasses meat-eating mammals with feline physical traits and behaviors.

Hyenas prefer habitat that is difficult for larger predators to inhabit, such as semideserts, rocky scrublands and savannas. They avoid true deserts, however, and must have access to fresh water within six miles (10 kilometers). Hyenas mark their territory using scent markers; their excellent vision and acute hearing (including really big ears!) allow them to patrol nightly; additionally they have incredible memories, being able to recall scents long distances away!

Like wolves and other canine species, hyenas are social animals who form packs called clans. Each clan consists of females holding the highest rank within it as well as their cubs as well as non-natal males who join once they reach sexual maturity.

Spotted hyenas have strong jaws and molars capable of crushing bones, which allows them to feed on virtually anything within reach of their mouths. Their diet includes birds and their eggs, insects, fruit, leftover kills from lions or cheetahs as well as skin/hooves of prey that is left behind after kills have taken place; but unfortunately these animals cannot consume hair/horns due to being too difficult for digestion.

Spotted hyenas are highly intelligent creatures with unique ways of managing their emotions. If they become sad or depressed, they often emit low guttural noises similar to gagging when sad, as well as licking their fur to release chemicals which help make them feel better.

Hyenas have an extremely robust immune system and tend not to succumb to disease; however, they may still be killed by other animals or humans and overpopulation disrupting natural resources in an area. Injuries or an imbalanced ecosystem could also prove fatal for them.

The striped hyena is one of the world’s most intelligent and social mammals, but not without enemies. Hunted by ranchers due to its predatory tendencies on livestock, striped hyenas can still add an additional level of interest and wonder to your safari experience.

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