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Photographer's Note

Just outside the walled town of Harar there is a rubbish dump. Each evening a handful of spotted hyenas emerge from the dark to scavenge there. This is encouraged by some locals who feed them with meat scraps. Despite having been exposed to humans for some time they are still wary and approach cautiously. Eventually they gain enough confidence to be hand fed.

This is something of a tourist attraction and the "hyena men" do it to make a living charging tourists.

Spotted hyenas are the most common large carnivores in Africa, have a shoulder height of 70-90cm, weigh about 70kgs and can crush large bones easily. Up close in teh wild they are an intimidating beast.

Amazingly there is a population of hyenas in the capital Addis Ababa estimated to have up to a thousand resident hyenas which survive by scavenging rubbish tips and preying on feral dogs and cats.

f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO400, 200mm, HSD5600 flash

pajaran, johnjmoe has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Stephen Harnett (SteveH) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 412 W: 101 N: 1206] (7704)
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