In last article I already changed "status" of a hyena from "padalshchitsa" to "hunter". However rehabilitation of this predator in the opinion of the inhabitant is not finished yet. Many people still treat a hyena, following the settled cultural cliche – a pier, it cowardly, perfidious, dangerous, greedy, double-faced, unscrpulous, disgusting… Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
Gusjer, commons.wikimedia.org

To take at least the film «Pi’s Life» where the hyena expresses all low human lines. Or the well-known animated film "The Lion King" which has caused big indignation among zoologists.

The matter is that, when animators created images of hyenas, they visited in the research center of the Californian university to observe live predators. Scientists of university asked animators not to aggravate negative image of their pets. However those as a result made in own way. The Trinity of hyenas appeared in the animated film the real gang of the villains living on an elephant cemetery moreover both talking to Afro-American and the Latin American accents that too as though hinted…

  • Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
    screen, Shot from m-f "The Lion King".
  • Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
    Bestiary miniature. Bodleensky library (Oxford, Bodlean Library), symbolarium.ru
  • Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
    E.Torsell. History four-footed, 1658, commons.wikimedia.org
  • Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
    скан, the Photo from Jane and Gugo van Lavik-Gudoll’s book «Innocent murderers» – M: World, 1982
  • Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
    Budgiekiller, commons.wikimedia.org
  • Whether the truth, what hyenas are capable to change the floor?
    Illustrated London News, commons.wikimedia.org

When animators asked, why they did not satisfy a request, those only told: «Why? We after all made them ridiculous». As a result, one biologist urged to boycott the animated film, and the second even submitted the claim on Disney’s studio for «slander on character of hyenas».

In ancient times of idea of habits of hyenas were even more freakish. For example, considered that in a giyenovy pupil there is a wonderful stone – if to put it under language, it is possible to begin to see clearly the future.

Further – it is more. Ancient authors argued that hyenas прелюбодействуют with dead, exhaust blood at the victims, are able to hypnotize a look and even to enter the person into catalepsy, having simply attacked its shadow. Nestor in «A general lechebnik» wrote that the hyena is extended near the sleeping person or a dog and if sees that sleeping more long it, "shortens" unfortunate (like the mythical sadist Prokrusta). In Africa believed that there are hyenas werewolves – so-called «буда», capable to address in the person.

A.Bram «Life of animals»:
«My servant Ali advised for what not to shoot at «these spoiled people damned by God», on his expression.

– Trust me, mister, – spoke to me the superstitious Arab, – they can stop a wound one look of the devil eyes in veins of the person … One of our governors. Hurshid pasha (bless him the Allah for this good deed!) ordered to burn some villages where these werewolves were found, but after all them still the darkness remained in this world to the detriment of devout».

N. Gumilev:
I approached, and here instant,
As the animal, seized me fear:
I met the head of a hyena
On harmonous maiden shoulders.

On a sharp muzzle blood stuck,
Eyes gaped emptiness,
Also whisper hoarse was disgustingly stolen:
«You came here, you mine!»…

Timothy from Gaza "Physiologist" (the V century):
«From year to year it finds that man’s, a female. At it the neck as it has one continuous bone instead of a vertebra does not bend…. By means of vomiting it involves dogs that those came to light, and thus it suffices them. Moving in a moonlight, [and having seen] on a roof a dog, the hyena from below rushes on her shadow [and thus] it pulls down a dog from top to down».

Certainly, it would be possible to laugh over medieval representations, however the myth about a two-cavity of a hyena appeared is extremely hardy. The matter is that genitals of females and males of hyenas are really very similar. Therefore long considered that a hyena – the hermaphrodite, capable to change a floor occasionally (though this belief was disproved still by Aristotle). Not without reason the hyena served in many cultures as allegory of a sodomy, symbolized immorality, bad habits and all deviations. For example, in the Book of prophet Jeremiah (12:9) there is such passage (the truth, it is absent in Russian translations): «Not the hole of a hyena got to me in inheritance, be not compared also you to hyenas, loving that men, women».

Ovidy. "Metamorphoses":
If we found an unknown subject of an astonishment in it,
That we will marvel at a hyena in her changes:
Lived a hyena male – having become a female, a male admits!

The reason of similar confusion is connected with that the clitoris of a female of a hyena is capable to reach in length of 15 cm and to look, as a natural penis. It is not casual: in blood of females a large number of a man’s hormone – testosterone. It is possible, for this reason matriarchy reigns in clans of hyenas – females larger than males and head all flight. Even today to define a sex of a hyena very not easy.

Jane and Gugo van Lavik-Gudoll «Innocent murderers»:
«Such case is known: to one hunter charged to catch six hyenas – three females and three males. It quickly caught three "males", but could not catch a female in any way. While he looked for the females, one of "males" was resolved from burden by triplets».

The case which has occurred in Japan when in 2010 in a local zoo delivered pair of hyenas for reproduction is indicative also. The whole 4 years the couple refused to couple and constantly fought, yet did not establish that both individuals – males.

Hyenas – not so prolific predators. The female has only two nipples and, respectively, one-two cubs. At first kids have a dark color, and then brighten.

The relations of people and hyenas never were simple. Though long ago it is known that these predators, being caught in the childhood, are well tamed and dogs behave not less friendly, than. Consider that ancient Egyptians not only tamed striped hyenas, but also, probably, them ate. So, on a tomb fresco in Sakkara the being similar to a hyena which almost violently fatten is represented. Anyway, meat of hyenas is used really in food by the Egyptian peasants, the Arab bedouins and the Palestinian workers. Moreover, at Muslims it is considered «халяль» – i.e. resolved for the use while meat of other predators it is tabooed – to choruses. Assume that a similar exception for hyenas made because of their pantophagy.

Cases of attack of these predators on people are known, but are rather rare. And here people always exterminated hyenas with the great pleasure. The British colonialists in India arranged the real sports meet from hunting for hyenas.

P. Pfeffer "Asia":
«Earlier in India hunted on hyenas with rack of dogs and copies. When the hyena understood what to leave from persecutors it is impossible, she pretended to be dead and allowed dogs to bite itself until they did not leave her alone. Denbar Brand tells that once it stuck a spear in seeming dead a hyena then she tried to crawl away and disappear».

E.Hemingway «Green hills of Africa»:
«… M’kola was amused, looking, as a hyena killed almost in an emphasis…. But the most rough fun for M’kol–… the true heat of fun began after the real masterful shot when the hyena wounded on the run in a back part of a trunk, started to be turned without restraint, biting and tormenting own body until at it interiors did not fall out, and then it stopped and greedy devoured them».

It is necessary to recognize that good feelings to hyenas are fed not by one zoologists. For example, in myths of the African tribe табва the hyena brought the sun in the world to warm the cold earth.

And in the Ethiopian small town Harar there was even a tradition… to feed up local hyenas as we feed up in the winter of titmouses. According to a legend this custom arose during hungry times when hyenas with despair began to attack people and cattle. Then to one of inhabitants in a dream it was told that as soon as he will feed the leader of giyenovy flight, animals will leave the city alone. Since then every evening – exactly at 19.00 – the special person takes out to hyenas the porridge cooked on oil. It is considered that if the leader (is more exact – the leader) will eat flights the portion without the rest, year for Harar’s inhabitants will be successful.

It is easy to guess that near a bowl with porridge accumulate not only hyenas, but also numerous tourists. Therefore feeding of hyenas for the city not only tradition, but also profitable show.