In the heart of Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia, spotted hyenas reign as the top predator. Known to many as a scavenging species, hyenas are also masterful hunters. They live, hunt and travel in groups called clans which can include up to 80 individuals. By tracking down prey as a group, spotted hyenas are able to take down animals much bigger in size (like antelopes and wildebeest).
Hyenas are intelligent problem-solvers, utilizing hunting strategies – like separating a mother wildebeest from her calf and isolating older, weaker animals – to maximize success.
Hyenas have powerful jaws that can crush through bone and iron-clad stomachs that can digest other predators’ rotting leftovers. They have good hearing, excellent nighttime vision and are able to chase prey for long distances without tiring.
Female hyenas are larger, stronger and fiercer than their male counterparts. They also have the most male-like sexual organs out of any female mammal, such as a bizarrely elongated organ that continues to mystify scientists.
All-powerful matriarchs govern the hyena clans. Low-ranking hyenas are often bullied by the clan and neighboring groups are enemies. Each clan is viciously territorial. If found trespassing on another’s’ land, conflicts often break out.
Follow a hyena clan as they struggle to survive a severe drought, torrential flooding and vicious rivalries with other hyena clans on Deadly Instincts: Clash of the Hyenas TONIGHT at 10 PM et/pt on Nat Geo Wild!