Homeless In Ethiopian Capital Risk Being Eaten Alive By Urban Hyenas

Pic: Defenseimagery.mil (PD)

Pic: Defenseimagery.mil (PD)

They’re fierce predators that can crush an elephant’s leg with their teeth. They’re hyenas. Urban hyenas.

Via BBC:

It is late evening in Addis Ababa. Stephen Brend, a zoologist with the Born Free Foundation, is driving me to the airport to catch a flight back to London.

“Have you got time for a ten-minute detour?” he asks, as we passed the British embassy. “Of course,” I reply.

So he turns off the road and up a dirt track between some rough shacks and a collection of battered old jalopies that passes for a taxi rank in Ethiopia’s capital.

“There! Look there!” Stephen exclaims. In the beams of his headlights I see several pairs of eyes glinting in the darkness like tiny mirrors. As we drive closer I begin to make out the shapes of the animals behind those eyes. They are hideous beasts, as large as the largest dogs, with coarse spotted brown fur, elongated necks and front legs much longer than their back ones so their backs taper away from their powerful shoulders.

“Hyenas,” says Stephen. Some of the fiercest predators on earth. And they are brazenly scavenging around a collection of rubbish skips right next to a football pitch and less than 50 yds from people’s homes.

As we watch, a group of teenagers walks up the track, right past the animals. “They’re mad,” Stephen remarks. Hyenas have jaws as powerful as those of great white sharks, he explains. They can crush an elephant’s leg. They devour every last morsel of their prey – bones included. “I mean – there’s nothing left,” he says.

Keep reading.

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  • Hadrian999

    somewhere a city planner is trying to figure out how to import them

    • kcorb

      Right. Like that mayor in Hawaii that was smashing up shopping carts. As a bonus they’d also get rid of all the wild chickens.

    • Juan

      Damn, you beat me to it:)

  • Anarchy Pony

    It’s like Pandora from Borderlands out there.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Have you heard Claptrap’s new dubstep song? wub wub wub

      • Anarchy Pony

        Did u go to his birthday party?

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Funny thing I literally did yesterday. It was kinda a downer. At least he gave me some of the extra pizza.

          • Anarchy Pony

            Do you think they digistruct the pizza? I don’t know how else they could make it. Pandora doesn’t seem to have a thriving agricultural sector.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            well the pepperoni is made from stag meat, the bread is made from stag feet, the sauce is made from the fire fruit, and… you don’t wanna know what the cheese is made from…

          • Anarchy Pony

            … no, no I don’t.

  • BuzzCoastin

    PETA should have a talk with the hyenas
    & so should
    PETH: people for the ethical treatment of humans

  • echar

    This would make a great b or z movie. Local man gets screwed over somehow and made homeless. Left to the hyenas, expected to die. Only to reach some affinity with them. Later to return as the hyena spirit, wreaking havoc and bringing justice.

    http://www.spamula.net/blog/i41/peake03.jpg

    The Soundtrack could sound something like this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj4j30412rw

    • Matt Staggs

      The Wolfen?

      • echar

        Yeah, and a plethora of other B movies. The Crow came to mind, as well as Darkman. There’s actually some Ethiopian folklore about hyena spirits.

        Buda (folklore)

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buda_%28folklore%29

        • Hadrian999

          the hyena spirit of Buffy was a fun one

          • echar

            I didn’t catch that one.

          • Hadrian999

            I’m sorry, distracted posting, episode 6 season 1, it was pretty funny

  • Juan

    I imagine it’s only a matter of time before local municipalities, here in the land of fat and stupid start releasing hyenas into in high density urban areas to deal with the homeless problem.
    They already make it illegal to feed the homeless. The hyena thing just seems like the natural next step.

    • Cortacespedes

      They could do a wolf/coyote hybrid and perhaps get something close to the same effect. You know, keep it local; not introduce an invasive species type thing.

      • Hadrian999

        wouldn’t work, wolves are cute little friendly puppies compared to hyena

        • Cortacespedes

          Alright, we go with grizzlies then.

          • Anarchy Pony

            What we need to do is engineer greasles and release them in the sewers and suburbs. That would make life way more exciting.

          • Cortacespedes

            Can’t we release them into super-exclusive gated communities and around Mercedes Benz dealerships or inside “Yacht World”?

            That would make life more entertaining.

          • Anarchy Pony

            I don’t see why not.

      • VaudeVillain

        You must not be from the northeast; we already have those all over the place.

        I know at least one person who has been stalked by a pack of them while walking alone late at night.

        • Anarchy Pony

          The key is to stand your ground and face them down. It’s running that gets you eaten.

          • VaudeVillain

            Running is a poor idea, but you really don’t want to tangle with those guys either. They don’t fight fair.

            The real worry is that if you fall down or stumble, that’s the moment that they strike, and you never get back up.

        • Hadrian999

          I didn’t mean to imply that they aren’t dangerous but wolves still have a fear of humans and would be unlikely to hunt in urban areas making them unsuitable to clean up the homeless problem

          • VaudeVillain

            Look into the Eastern Coyote and Eastern Wolf. They are hybrid species that are only a little bit smaller than wolves, hunt in packs, have the opportunistic instincts of coyotes, and are perfectly happy living in areas of moderate human population density.

            The problem with using them to clean up the homeless problem is that the homeless would be too likely to join their packs: canids are well known to form interspecies social groups with other, compatible social predators.

        • Cortacespedes

          See there? The plan is working already.

          No, not from the northeast, pure westerner.

          I have heard of the coywolves tho. I read a story a few years back that they may have had a hand in the death of a Canadian folk singer.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I read the title quickly… and i had assumed Urban Hyenas were some kind of metaphor for people eating all the capital.

  • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

    Can we deport Justin Bieber to Addis Ababa and make sure he goes homeless for at least 24 hours?

    Fox could make it into a reality teevee show or something…

    • echar

      No, I finally forgot he existed. See what you did? ACKKKK!

      • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

        maybe I’ll use this in my next magical dohickey to do stuff and junk

        I wonder what the going bitcoin rate is on four more years?

        • echar

          You are a bad person….

          Bitcoin took a dump today, suposedly due to magic the gathering exchange kicking the bucket.

          Perhaps dealing in souls is a safer business?

          • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

            i’m not bad, i’m just drawn that way

            souls are accounted for in the current tax code… I was looking to avoid that…

            How’s the CoinYe West thingie doing?

          • echar

            It got squashed by kanye.

          • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

            La, la, la la (Yeah)
            Wait ’til I get my money right

          • echar

            Is that a Kanye song? I can honestly say I’ve not listened to more than 1 minute of one of his songs.

          • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

            Kanye may be an asshole of epic proportions, but the man makes bangerzzz

            “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”

          • echar

            He knows how to pimp out his image, that’s for sure.

          • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

            Perhaps, but he didn’t really go off the rails until this went down…

          • echar

            He stole Mike Meyer’s mojo. Sweet bird! Caa Caaa!!!

          • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

            Congrats
            You now understand the fears of all racist white people

          • echar

            My dad is a baby boomer. I’ve grown up with it, I have an understanding. Please do not insult my intelligence with such pretense. My quip was a little more abstract, merely pointing out that Mike Meyers career tanked around that time.

            Not because of this event. Because he made awful movies around that time. Yet Kanye still makes awful music (IMO). His image sells and he sure knows how to toot his own horn.

            Nikki Minaj, another mediocre talented person making bank on image and controversy. Her new scam, a lawsuit over wigs. It’ll sell wigs and records. So much for integrity.

            I’ll jam this though

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlLIIcY2eGU

          • https://twitter.com/anti_euclidean ÿ

            That was not meant to be an accusation. I apologize if my riff was too heavy or in (excessively) bad taste.

            As for Kanye, peep the videos for “Flashing Lights” and “Stronger”. Not as glorious as Ludwig Van’s Ninth, I grant you. but…

            Something about Saul Williams… his songs always sound canned to me. Damn shame too, because he has a great voice and a fine mind.

            Since I doubt I’ll win you over on Ye anytime soon, I submit the following jam:

            Shabazz Palaces – Swerve… The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)

          • echar

            I am familiar with Shabazz Palaces, they are one of the goodies. Although I find it tough to get into Rap, I typically find the themes or philosophical goal of the lyric to be childish, egocentric, too materialistic, or all of the above. Often I like the production though.

            I like it, but too involved for me. This is more my style…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la6V9b-lw_s

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9MxACrPDzk

          • echar

            Fantastic selections. Thanks.

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