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The urban hyenas that attack rough sleepers

February 24, 2014

hyena

BBC – Urban hyenas are becoming a dangerous problem in the Ethiopian capital, where they attack rough sleepers.

It is late evening in Addis Ababa. Stephen Brend, a zoologist with the Born Free Foundation, is driving me to the airport to catch a flight back to London.

“Have you got time for a ten-minute detour?” he asks, as we passed the British embassy. “Of course,” I reply.

So he turns off the road and up a dirt track between some rough shacks and a collection of battered old jalopies that passes for a taxi rank in Ethiopia’s capital.

“There! Look there!” Stephen exclaims. In the beams of his headlights I see several pairs of eyes glinting in the darkness like tiny mirrors. As we drive closer I begin to make out the shapes of the animals behind those eyes. They are hideous beasts, as large as the largest dogs, with coarse spotted brown fur, elongated necks and front legs much longer than their back ones so their backs taper away from their powerful shoulders.

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