Spotted hyaenas are subject to human persecution through culling, shooting, spearing, trapping, poisoning, and vehicular strikes and may be legally killed when suspected to have preyed upon livestock.
Populations of spotted hyaenas are subject to persecution by humans in numerous ways including culling, trapping, and poisoning. Entire clans of spotted hyaenas may be killed by poisoning, and many individuals are killed when hit by vehicles, or by shooting and spearing. Such activities may sometimes occur within the boundaries of conservation areas, but are especially prevalent outside of protected areas.
Through the early 1960’s, spotted hyaenas were shot on sight in numerous parks and game reserves in East Africa.
Spotted hyaena populations in protected areas may also be decimated by authorities when they are considered a threat for other wildlife species such as lions (Panthera leo), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), and rhinos.
In some protected areas, spotted hyaenas may be legally killed by resident humans when they have preyed upon livestock. Government officials and managers allow local human residents within protected areas to kill spotted hyaenas when they are suspected or known to have preyed upon livestock.
While it is fully protected in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the spotted hyaena may be legally shot by sport hunters in the adjacent Maswa Game Reserve. The species is sport hunted in several places in Africa, though the hyaenas are not much in demand from trophy hunters because they are not viewed as attractive. Because they aren’t considered an attractive species, the numbers killed by licensed sport hunters are probably small.
Spotted hyaenas are also killed for food, medicine, and witchcraft.
• Image | © Tambako The Jaguar, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Bohm & Höner, 2015; Eltringham, 1979; Hofer, Campbell, East, & Huish, 1996; Hofer & Mills, 1998b; Huish, 1996; Kruuk, 1972; Law, 2004)