Why live with hyaenas?
Living with hyaenas
Hyaenas are fascinating animals that perform essential functions in the ecosystem in which they live.
As their natural habitat is destroyed and fragmented, it is becoming more and more common to find hyaena territories overlapping with human habitation.
Although there is much fear surrounding hyaenas it is possible to live in harmony with them if certain measures are taken.
Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa and so urban areas are important for wildlife like hyaenas that have lost their natural habitat.
As partial scavengers, hyaenas help in clearing up garbage and waste from markets, slaughter houses, streets, dumping sites and dead animals keeping our surroundings clean.
Spotted hyaenas help in recycling nutrients back into in the ecosystem. They eat a variety of food which, when excreted, restores nutrients back to the biotic and abiotic ecosystem. Hyaenas will eat 40% more of a carcass than other carnivores, including the bones, which other carnivores would leave.
They also eat hosts of parasitic pests such as larger rodents and stray dogs that would otherwise be problematic to humans.
Traditional folklore teaches that hyaenas have magical powers or were originally people. No animals have magical powers nor can people turn into animals, this is merely superstition stemmed from a lack of understanding of this nocturnal animal.