In 2010, the brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) was spotted on the camera traps. This was the first recorded sighting on Lissataba for over 7 years at that time. Throughout 2010 and 2011, brown hyena popped up a few times on the cameras.
It wasn’t known whether these shy animals were resident on the property, or the sightings were of nomadic animals passing through Lissataba. Also, without the unique spot patterns, as possessed by their close relatives, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), we were unsure if we were seeing the same individual over and over or whether we were dealing with a resident population.
During 2012 and much of this year, the camera trapping sessions did not come up with any brown hyena goods. In October however, whilst trawling through thousands of photos of vultures and jackals at a carcass, suddenly a new shape popped onto the screen. Three shots, taken repeatedly in just a split second, showed a blurry outline of a nervous and shy brown hyena. As quick as it was there, it was gone.
It is great to know that brown hyena are still roaming around on Lissataba, whether permanently or as part of a nomadic existence.