By Ciel S Cantoria
Their body parts are used for medicinal purposes and their habitats are being destroyed. Small wonder then that the striped hyena is in danger of being wiped off the face of the planet.
There are three types of hyenas, namely the spotted, the brown and the striped species. They belong to the family Hyaenidae and are found mostly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Though the striped hyena is the smallest of the true hyenas it is nonetheless a powerful creature. It is not as vocally expressive as the other species but bears the same typical canine-like features.
Striped hyenas have distinctive streaks of black stripes running down their coarse grey or sandy-brown shaggy fur, starting from the crest on their backs and extending down to their legs and long bushy tail.
Their claws may be blunt but their jaws are said to be strong enough to grip the throats of their prey and break open the large dry bones of carcasses they also feed on. Hyenas are carnivorous, but the striped hyenas are omnivores since they have been observed to eat anything while scavenging for food during the night.
The Known Threats
In 1986 the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) placed the striped hyena species under the “Vulnerable” classification. In 2008 their total population was assessed and the numbers had dwindled to an estimated 5,000 to 14,000 mature striped species. Their continuous decline has now put them on the IUCN’s Red List of “Near Threatened” animals. More....