From Planet Earth II, the man who lives with hyenas

BBC | Published: 09:05, Dec 07,2016


Yusef, in Harar, Ethiopia, has a close relationship with wild hyenas - calling them into his house and feeding them by hand. — BBC photo

Spotted hyenas are the second largest land predator in Africa (after lions). They are feared for their raids on towns where they have been known to kill small children.

However, the inhabitants of Harar, Ethiopia have invited wild hyenas into their community, believing they consume evil spirits with each cackle.

Every night for the last 400 years, two hyena clans have entered the streets of Harar and fought for dominance. The winners gain access to the bones left on the streets by the city's butchers.

One Harar resident, Yusef, has a close relationship with the hyenas. He calls them into his house and feeds them by hand.

Cities are the fastest growing habitat on Earth but for many animals life in the manmade world is not easy.

Some are surprisingly successful. Leopards prowl the streets of Mumbai, peregrine falcons hunt amongst New York's skyscrapers, and 5 million starlings perform spectacular aerial dances over Rome.

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