When hunting Thomson's gazelles, spotted hyenas usually operate alone, and prey primarily on young fawns. Typically, very high-pitched calls indicate fear or submission, while loud, lower-pitched calls express aggression. In the former, the species is mostly regarded as ugly and cowardly, while in the latter, it is viewed as greedy, gluttonous, stupid, and foolish, yet powerful and potentially dangerous.
 Studies on the phylogeographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes indicates three migration events from Africa to Eurasia, though neither the topology of the phylogenetic tree or the fossil record exclude the possibility of an Asian origin. During the canine distemper outbreak of 1993–94, molecular studies indicated that the viruses isolated from hyenas and lions were more closely related to each other than to the closest canine distemper virus in dogs. In December 2013, a cull was organised and marksmen killed ten hyenas which had occupied wasteland near the city centre. ", Comparative ecology and taphonomy of spotted hyenas, humans, and wolves in Pleistocene Italy, "Spotted hyena returns to Gabon park after 20 years: researchers", "The impact of land reform on the status of large carnivores in Zimbabwe", "The Magicality of the Hyena: Beliefs and Practices in West and South Asia", "Livestock Depredation of the Spotted Hyena (, Preliminary data on human – carnivore conflict in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique, particularly fatalities due to lion, spotted hyaena and crocodile, "The urban hyenas that attack rough sleepers", "Markedly Elevated Antibody Responses in Wild versus Captive Spotted Hyenas Show that Environmental and Ecological Factors Are Important Modulators of Immunity", Account of Travels Into the Interior of Southern Af, The IUCN Hyaenidae Specialist Group page on spotted hyena, The Female External Genitalia of the Spotted Hyena, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spotted_hyena&oldid=983052964, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2013, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from July 2020, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Another hunting method was to trap them in their dens and dazzle them with torchlight, before stabbing them in the heart with a long knife. Surplus killing has been recorded in South Africa's eastern Cape Province. Evidence of canine distemper in spotted hyenas has also been recorded in the Masai Mara.  The species is, however, experiencing declines outside of protected areas due to habitat loss and poaching.  An April 2004 BBC article described how a shepherd living in the small town of Qabri Bayah about 50 kilometres from Jigjiga, Ethiopia managed to use a male spotted hyena as a livestock guardian dog, suppressing its urge to leave and find a mate by feeding it special herbs. Tanner, Jaime B, Dumont, Elizabeth, R., Sakai, Sharleen T., Lundrigan, Barbara L & Holekamp, Kay E. (2008), Brockmann, H. Jane; Snowdon, Charles T.; Macedo, Regina (2010), harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMillsMills2010 (. However, attacks on humans by spotted hyenas are likely to be underreported. , Several languages of Africa lack species specific names for hyenas: for example, the spotted and striped species have identical names in Dyula, Swahili, Mandinka, Mossi, Ngambaye, Wolof and Fulani. The name for Hyena is pretty much the same in most languages in the world, with spelling difference of "Hiena", based om the Latin word for them (Hyaena). Running in a fleeing posture with the mouth slightly open, When attacked or chased, usually over a kill, A loud, high pitched call lasting several seconds, As with the giggle, but when actually being bitten, A loud, rattling, low pitched sound lasting several seconds, with an "aa" and "oh" quality, When under attack, preceding a retaliatory bite, A rapid succession of low pitched, soft sounding staccato grunts lasting several seconds, The mouth is closed or slightly open with a fleeing posture and the tail horizontal or high and the ears cocked, When fleeing in surprise from a lion, man or when attacking large prey, Louder than the soft grunt-laugh, though still not very loud, and often lasts more than 5 minutes, The mouth is the same as in the soft grunt-laugh, but with the tail high and ears cocked, In encounters with lions or other hyena clans, Loud, high pitched, rapid, drawn out "eeee" sounding squeals, The mouth is slightly open with the head and tail hanging low, Mostly used by cubs when following a female before suckling, or when thwarted from getting food, Same as above, but softer and without the staccato quality, The mouth is slightly open with the ears flattened and the head tilted to one side with the teeth bared, Used by both cubs and adults encountering a clan-mate after a long separation, Although present, its numbers are unknown due to the.
Any inorganic material is excreted with the faeces, which consist almost entirely of a white powder with few hairs.  It has been theorised that female dominance in spotted hyena clans could be an adaptation in order to successfully compete with males on kills, and thus ensure that enough milk is produced for their cubs. Explicit, negative judgments occur in the Physiologus, where the animal is depicted as a hermaphrodite and grave-robber.  The species has a largely negative reputation in both Western culture and African folklore.
In order to obviate this danger, a killed hyena usually has its ears, tail and front legs cut off and buried, as these are the parts which are supposed to be marked by the witches' brand.
It further embodies physical power, excessivity, ugliness, stupidity, as well as sacredness. , The relative scarcity of hyena depictions in Paleolithic rock art has been theorised to be due to the animal's lower rank in the animal worship hierarchy; the spotted hyena's appearance was likely unappealing to Ice Age hunters, and it was not sought after as prey. Spotted hyenas vary in their folkloric and mythological depictions, depending on the ethnic group from which the tales originate.  Clans mark their territories by either pasting or pawing in special latrines located on clan range boundaries. , In Tanzania, spotted hyena cubs may be taken from a communal den by witchdoctors, in order to increase their social status.
Cubs begin to lose the black coat and develop the spotted, lighter coloured pelage of the adults at 2–3 months. These bestiaries almost invariably depict hyenas feeding on human corpses. Gilbert, W. Henry; Asfaw, Berhane (2008).