Brown Hyena on Gondwana

August 22, 2020

It is with great excitement that we can confirm… that a Brown Hyena has made Gondwana Game Reserve home recently!!

First indication of this was a report from our trail guides who discovered tracks and possible pastings of Brown Hyena. Further Brown Hyena pastings were discovered in early July along the upper reaches of the Nauga valley and even I had to concede we clearly had something special here. But still, I insisted on photographic evidence.

2-Coloured Hyena Pasting

Brown Hyena Track

The entire guiding team scrounged every camera trap they could get their hands on and set about divining where they thought the best locations would be. Concurrently, a research partner of ours and ex-Gondwana employee, Arno of Nkonzo Wildlife Research deployed his cameras too in the hopes of getting the sought-after photo. Determination to succeed was only increased after Gondwana’s Head Chef, William, casually reported one morning that he reckons he saw a hyena the night before, crossing the road in front of his vehicle.

And then it happened!!! With much whooping and hollering, I received a photo on Friday the 31st July of a Brown Hyena snapped early morning of the 28th on Wedding Drive.

And just like that…It happened AGAIN! The following day the guides department checked their cameras deployed in the Nauga and got me whooping and hollering with yet more photos of this incredible creature.

Suffice to say we are all tremendously excited by this development and are thrilled by the implications of it. Literature shows that Brown Hyenas are primarily scavengers and vulnerable to human disturbance. Where this individual came from and how long s/he will stick around is anyone’s guess, but we are privileged to witness what appears to be the re-integration of yet another aspect of a functional ecosystem within Gondwana Game Reserve.

We will work towards learning as much as we can from this opportunity and sharing the journey with you along the way. I earnestly believe this is a consequence of the reserve’s long-term strategy to support ecological processes. 

Jono Berry
Gondwana Game Reserve
Conservation Manager