In early August, we successfully identified a BROWN hyena den at Lagoon camp – much to everyone’s excitement!
The guides debated for a few days on the sighting being a brown hyena or an aardwolf – this was before we managed to snap a clear picture. Brown hyena seemed almost impossible because it does not feature in this area of the country, on Botswana’s distribution maps of the species (where the Kwando Reserve is). The brown hyena typically inhabits desert areas, semi-desert, and open woodland savannahs.
Kwando Safaris contacted a Maun resident brown hyena researcher with the photos who estimated that the cubs are about 5 months. He added that typical brown hyena behavior is different from spotted hyena behaviour as they do not go out looking for food with adults (spotted hyena cubs do this from a young age) so they should be based from a den for approximately another 6 months. Den sites can change as is normal with spotted hyenas as well. Brown hyena adults would typically visit the den to bring food to the youngsters so your guests stand a very good chance of sighting this incredibly ELUSIVE animal if they are staying at Lagoon camp soon!