Biological classification

Order Carnivora

Family Hyaenidae

Species striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena)

                                                                             Related species and the area

Brown hyena is a related species.

Compared to the other three species, the hyena has the largest area - from the North and North-East Africa across the Front, Minor and Central Asia. As a result of hunting and habitat destruction in some regions hyena threatened with extinction.


Age of maturity is 3 – 4 years. Mating season: during the whole year.

The striped hyena is monogamous, with the male helping the female to establish a den, raise young and feed her when cubs are born. The mating season varies according to location; in Transcaucasia, hyenas breed in January–February, while those in southeast Turkmenia breed in October–November. In captivity, breeding is non-seasonal. Mating can occur at any time of the day, during which the male grips the skin of the female's neck.

The gestation period lasts 90–91 days. Number of cubs: 2-4.Striped hyena cubs are born with adult markings, closed eyes and small ears. This is in marked contrast to newborn spotted hyena cubs which are born almost fully developed, though with black, unmarked coats. Their eyes open after 7–8 days, and the cubs leave their dens after one month. Cubs are weaned at the age of 2 months, and are then fed by both parents. Despite the males' assistance, female hyenas are very protective of their cubs, and will chase their mates away from the cubs if they approach too closely.

Habits: live alone or in family groups.

Diet is mainly consists of carrion and small mammals, reptiles, birds and eggs. Hyena feeds on not only food of animal origin. It also eats fruit and vegetables.

Life-span is up to 25 years in captivity.

Striped hyenas - a nocturnal predators usually hunt alone. Sometimes hyenas form family groups, consisting of 3-4 animals. Every animal (or group) has home range up to 40 square km. They mark borders. Usually hyenas avoid conflicts with other predators.

Striped hyenas in Kyiv zoo

The first information about hyena both striped and spotted in the Kiev Zoo was published in 1930 in Explorer "Kyiv" edited by Theodore Ernst. That time hyenas reproduced well but there were cases when female ate offspring.

In 1938 the "Guide to Kyiv Zoo" published the following information: “In 1932 the striped hyena of our zoo gave birth twice a year - in April and December. A couple of fearful cubs now live here in the zoo. An interesting experiment of acclimatization provided in our zoo showed that hyenas can live in the open enclosure all year long and that they stand cold easily. In the previous years hyenas were transferred to warm enclosure for the winter time.”

In 1972 female Jena arrived to our zoo and lived here for 4 years. After this she was ransported to Yerevan Zoo. In July 4, 2014 Kyiv zoo received two young striped hyenas – Tegrran and Hassan.