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Brown hyena - rare sighting?

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Oribie
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby Oribie » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:53 pm

Unfortunately I do not have a photo but I am convinced that they are in in Kruger.

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jakoventer
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby jakoventer » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:37 am

Hey guys. I was one of the believers that there are no brownies in Kruger. That was untill Dec 2011. We drove from Afsaal to Crocodile Bridge via S25. And honestly saw a brownie. Unfortunately the sighting was over in about 3 seconds as it was on the move. so by the time we managed to stop and reverse, the sighting was over.

We have seen in in Pilansberg as well, where it was struggling with a Leopard over a kill. Guess who won?

Well we did, as we came around the bend, both of them ran of in different directions leaving the kill in the road.
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby johanrebel » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:15 pm

I'm amazed at the number of people who won't believe that brown hyaenas occur in Kruger unless presented with photographic evidence.

Brown hyaenas have been seen several times in the Makuleke CNP, on all occasions by professional safari guides. Do you really think they are making things up?

With the advent of digital photography, pictures no longer provide uncontroversial proof, they can be doctored at will. I'd much rather take the word of a reliable observer.

It is, however, quite possible that brown hyaenas are transient in the area, I have yet to see one, despite having spent well over 100 nights at Pafuri Camp.

Spotted hyaenas are also rarely seen, even though they are heard often and their spoor is all over the place. Sightings have recently improved considerably though, both in the Makuleke CNP and on the S63.

Johan

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ndloti
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby ndloti » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:08 am

Authentic enough to share with Kruger staff ...

From: Rob Thomson
Sent: 17 September 2002 10:50 AM
To: KNP-Rangers; KNP - Research; KNP - Hospitality Managers; KNP - Regional Managers; CIS (Corporate Investigation Services)
Cc: Wouter Jordaan; Phineas Nobela; Marc Mcdonald; Leon Serfontein
Subject: BROWN HYAENA

Dear all

... on Sunday night at 19h00, while we were returning from Lanner Gorge from the West via Pafuri gate. Approximately 5km East of the Pafuri gate running towards us was the most magnificent specimen of a large Brown hyaena. Due to its size I assume it could be a female.
It was in excellent condition, I could not find a scratch on its face from 30m.
It ran in the road for around 30 sec, before it turned and vanished into the bush, its long hair flowing in the wind as it ran away from us.

This is only the second 'wild' Brown Hyaena I have seen, the first being at Venetia Limpopo reserve.
Wilbert Von Voort said he thought he saw one two years ago in the Nyalaland trails area, and Dr. Gus reckons there have only been six other sightings (records) in his time in the park.
Gus, please correct me if I am wrong.

Could they be moving in and out the area, due to positive change in water policy (Pienaar/Mills)? An opinion which I believe is valid, especially long term.

The Spotted 'brother' does occur in the area but their numbers are not too high, however they are the dominant predator in the Pafuri, while the lion population is minimal.

The Nyalaland area and blocks 12 & 13 (East of the Tar road) are so vast with little human movement and no roads, that their could be more of these hyaena walking around out there.
There areas of movement are so massive and number density low that it is hard to tell for sure.

Hope you find this e-mail of interest.

Anyway, it was a privilege to see this rare specie in Kruger, and welcome any other responses, especially from the old hands in the 'bush' park.

greetings

R. Thomson
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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ndloti
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby ndloti » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:40 am

okie wrote:
ndloti wrote:I am confident that I saw one fleetingly in the spring of 1987 on the northern S52 loop while travelling westwards a few km before Shangoni turnoff .
Yeah Ndloti , and with the old brownie box-cameras of those days , I suppose a quick mik-and-druk shot would have been out of the question :hmz: :whistle:


You may know the area I mentioned , there is a slight incline so there was a good "depth of field" , there are a lot of rocks and I saw it for perhaps 3 seconds at a distance of around 200m , it was running in the same general direction on the right side of the road about 30 degrees to the right of the direction of travel , before it loped out of sight behind a rocky outcrop , the lope was very similar to that I have seen described , and in case there is doubt , it was larger than an aardwolf , the size of which I am familiar with .
There was insufficient time to stop and prepare and take a photo with a Canon AE1 Progam loaded with Fuji slide film .
(The time spent at Shingwedzi was followed by a sojourn to the Olifants wilderness trail , the trails ranger was Bruce Chapman who was rather tired of trails at the time as he had completed 5 trails in sucession without a break as he had been to America to attend a congress on wilderness areas , his colleague had been on duty for 4 weeks continuously while he was there , thus his extended period of duty . It was while travelling in to the camp that we overheard Sanparks personnel , who were at the time building the Metsi Metsi trails camp , conversing about building material requirements over the 2 way radio in the vehicle.)
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Confirmed Brown Hyena sighting in Kruger with photo

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:16 pm

Those who say there are no Brown hyena in Kruger ... come have a look see 8)
Those who asked for photographic proof ... see it now 8)

Thenews of the forum fund raiser 'The Brownie Challenge' has spread far and wide :dance: It is due to this that I laid my eyes upon a most encouraging email telling me who I should contact for proof of BH in Krugz :dance: :dance:

It is with great joy that I eventually got an email with this picture from Robert Spaan, an ex Sanparks employee who saw this brown hyena while working in Kruger!!

I'll quote some of the email here:
Hi James,
 
On the morning of the 2nd of December 2010 at approximately 05:38 while tracking buffalo to recapture myself, my wife and the vet working with us spotted this Brown Hyena streak over the road. It ran behind a stand of knobthorns but I managed to get off a quick shot of poor quality as it stopped for a second and turned and looked back. It then took off for to the east. I’ve deleted the emails I sent to scientific services with exact GPS coordinates but I can tell you that the siting took place on the Lindanda Rd about a kilometer or two before junction with the Trichardt Road. I reported the incident to the section ranger of Tshokwane (Mr. Steven Whitfield) and scientific services (Nick Zimbatis who agreed with the identification and passed it on to Gus Mills who also agreed with the identification). They may also still have the GPS coordinates if you require them. I also spent a fair amount of time observing brown hyena in the Waterberg while working there and can tell the difference between a brown hyena and an aardwolf which is often other people’s argument.


Image

If anyone wants this man's credentials to check up on him, drop me a PM and I'll provide :thumbs_up:

So there you have it!!!!!!!
Brown Hyena IN KRUGER :dance: :dance: :dance:
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Re: Confirmed Brown Hyena sighting in Kruger with photo

Unread postby gmlsmit » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:37 pm

Thanks, this is enough proof. :thumbs_up:
I saw one during my first visit to KNP on the low water bridge at Balule, August 1967.
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Re: Confirmed Brown Hyena sighting in Kruger with photo

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:17 pm

It is generally a quiet road the Lindanda (S35)
Perhaps that is a clue to where one might find BH's in the Kruger :hmz: High predator densities are said to be a reason for their disappearance from Kruger in the first place :hmz:
It also happens to be near the Eastern Moz border of the Park ... might be another clue that they perhaps stray across the borders :hmz:
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Re: Confirmed Brown Hyena sighting in Kruger with photo

Unread postby NetEk » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:24 pm

Lets face it Brownies are secritive animals. On our farm (part of Mapungubwe) we know they are there and the staff as seen them on occasion but we have seen more leopard than Brownies ourselves.
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Re: Confirmed Brown Hyena sighting in Kruger with photo

Unread postby johanrebel » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:25 pm

There have been several sightings in recent years in the Pafuri area by guides from the private lodges there. I have no reason to doubt the correctness of their observations.

Johan

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Re: Confirmed Brown Hyena sighting in Kruger with photo

Unread postby Bushbuddies » Sun May 26, 2013 12:31 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:But please, let's have a pic like you can get (almost) any day in Kgalagadi, with the brownie fully visible and close.


My take on this is that there are probably a few brownies in KNP - the proof being the above posts. There are probably not many, and those that are there, are not often seen by tourists - as we all know from the little evidence that we have. The chances are therefor good that these animals will not be used to vehicles or humans (as they probably are in KTP in the areas they are often spotted), and that they will probably not just stand around for a picture if they do get in contact with a vehicle/human. They will probably run away and hide - as was the case with this sighting. So I don't think the chances are great for getting such a shot... :cam:
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby onewithnature » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:33 am

Wonderful thread, chok-full of authentic records of this beautiful creature in Kruger. I have never seen one there but have absolutely no doubt that they exist. Many people have suggested that the sightings are so rare because it is of nomads passing through the area, and that it is doubtful that they den there. I think that a BH sighting in Kruger has to be one of the MOST special moments of all.
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby JohanEngels » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:31 pm

Image

This is an article I found on Koedoe.co.za regarding mammals found in the Kruger. The article is online, under Archives, under "The large mammals of the Kruger National Park - Their distribution and present-day status", Vol6, No 1: 1963.

So definitely, there must be some Brown Hyenas left!!!!

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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby onewithnature » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:08 pm

Fascinating information, JohanEngels. One wonders, though, how much this situation has changed in half a century. :hmz:
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Re: Brown hyena - rare sighting?

Unread postby A Free Living Guide » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:47 pm

This is a very interesting thread…

I have never professed to know anything about anything, but for my two cents worth… I feel the water provision policy must certainly have had an effect on Brownies, along with all the other species!

I don't think Brownies have ever been a common or prolific species in the park, not by a long shot. However, there are undeniable sporadic reports of sightings through the years. They have probably always been nomadic vagrants to or through KNP, only occasionally establishing small populations when conditions were favorable?

It is no secret that they do well in dry and extremely dry habitats.
I am of the opinion (and I stand to be corrected) that they are powerfull predators, but timid, usually not willing to stand up to lions and spotties. Yes, you hear the odd story of "someone once told me they saw 17 brownies chase 4 lionesses off their kill and….", but those stories are very few and far between. In general I believe brownies forage singularly and for their size and strength, they could command a lot more respect, but are usually timid predators.

Most of the early sighting records are from the early decades, the 30's, 40's, 50's, even the 60's. The water provision policy really only started in earnest in the drought years of the 60's. Prior to this there were but a few boreholes around. From '61 to '76 the majority of the boreholes were implemented. This increased the number of water dependent game species in the dry areas, which in turn attracted more lions and spotties to these areas, increasing pressure and competition for the brownies. With the increased water and increased large predator competition, it is no wonder the brownies are around even less now then they were 70 years ago.

That is not to say they are not here, I believe they are still nomadic vagrants, and they are still seen very occasionally in the park. But hopefully with the revised water policy of 1997 closing down 200 odd artificial water points, and the possibility of a drought this year (which would be the first decent drought in 20 years since the decision to start closing waterholes), the bush will be returning to a more natural state and may be moving towards more suitable habitat for brownies once again.

We may start seeing a few more of them yet… :D

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