Dear Hyenas of Wolhuter

Dear Hyenas of Wolhuter. We need to talk!

Dear Hyenas of Wolhuter… Hi there! Before I start, I think an introduction might be in order. My name is Linda. I am married to the two-legged that lives at the Wolhuter Waterhole for a week at a time. I am sure you have seen him around. He always dresses in green and brings other two-leggeds to walk around your area and to show them all the animals.


We have met on a couple of occasions (I bumped into one of you while you were exploring the two-legged’s living arrangements around the waterhole on our side of the fence), but you might not remember.


Anyway, I am the one responsible for the strange looking boxes the one in green puts up on the tree at the waterhole. You know the boxes I am talking about: they are almost square, well camouflaged so one barely sees them, but they give out a faint light at night when you walk past them and they smell a bit like us two-leggeds.


Doesn’t ring a bell?

Well, you ATE TWO OF THEM!

How about now?

So I have a bit of a bone to pick with you! Pun intended!


Look, you might not understand what those strange looking boxes are doing there. So let me try and shed some light on that. See, us two-leggeds cannot see in the dark like you hyena’s can. Our eyes are just not the same as yours. We are naturally curious, a trait you can perhaps appreciate about us. So that box is there to see the things we can’t after the sun goes out. A whole new world opens up for us when we see what is on that box. We see animals that are sleeping when the sun is on, like Civets and Genets for example. And we get to see you! And we like that!


Can you imagine my horror when I found out that you chewed up my one box? I can only imagine it tasted horrible. And I really hoped the guilty party had learnt from the experience and shared the knowledge with the rest of the clan.


But no! The new box that was put up also got munched! This one even came in a metal container! And it wasn’t even mine! An apology to Paul and Susan Eslick is in order! So I was wondering… Are there teething problems in your clan? Do you just need a good chew toy? Or do us two-leggeds smell so vile that any trace scent of us needs to be annihilated? Please help me try and understand, because I really would like to continue watching the nightly goings on at the waterhole with one of those boxes. (A new one, obviously…)


I really hope now that you understand what the box is for; you will kindly leave it be. There are many other items out in the veld that you can chew on or to practise your incredible jaw power.


If the smell is the issue, I will try my best to make it smell a bit less like humans. A little birdy once told me citronella masks the smell of us quite well. An option I am totally prepared to try. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them.


Dear Hyenas of Wolhuter, I hope to see you around the waterhole again soon!


Best Regards,



Wife of the one in green who goes on foot.

PS. I saw on the partially destroyed box that one in your clan is heavily pregnant! I wish her a good delivery and healthy pups! It would be great if I could see those on the box too.



23 thoughts on “Dear Hyenas of Wolhuter. We need to talk!

  1. Dear Linda
    On behalf of the hyenas of Wolhuter, who sent me this e-mail, I will be replying from the heart of Hyenas in Kruger.

    Let me introduce myself, I am Crokine, the officially appointed matriarch and spokesperson of the Spotted Hyenas in the Southern areas of Kruger.

    My biggest apologies on the loss of your green boxes. And also a kind thank you for everything you do to work against the general misconception that we are vile and ugly animals. We sincerely appreciate that, especially in the light of Lion King that came out again… Jip, we know about that.

    To get back to your green boxes. Those things smell much better than you imagine. A lovely mix of humans, the wildcats that rubbed up to them before, hippo, hare, vervet monkey and some strange unknown smells that possibly could have done damage to the clan of Wolhuter. We are bold and intelligent animals, if I have to say that myself. We had to to test, we had to attack the danger right on and make sure everyone is safe and that is exactly what pregnant Crocoline did. She protected everyone. Of course now that we know we will try and get the message out to all the Hyena clans in Kruger. I do want to encourage you to take extra protection steps for your boxes. I don’t know if you know the daily amount of dangers that are out here. There is also the odd chance that we don’t regocnise the next one you put out, you know, because of a different design or smell. Please help us to help you.

    Signed, stepped-on, slightly chewed on and sniffled by Crokine.
    The official Matriach and spokesperson for the hyenas of the south of Kruger.
    Crocuta crocuta

    Ps. The hyenas of Wolhuter themselves might also reply. Please hear there heart also.

  2. Great read to start off a friday-a good laugh…

    Love reading these posts

    Thanks for the great blog Linda

  3. Oh Linda, what a treat, reading your plea to the hyena family! I’m so sorry about your trailcam x2. Please don’t lose your sense of humour and hope you don’t give up on them. Love reading your blog.

  4. Hi Linda, your letter to the hyenas is absolutely hilarious. Whats not hilarious though is losing two trailcams in almost as many weeks. Good luck with the next one though, and hopefully the citronella will work.
    Kind regards

  5. OMW! You just cannot win…
    I love the way you talk to the animals. I can see you lecturing them.
    Sitting here in a Chilly Boksburg I’m wondering if Elephant dung won’t do the trick of masking the “Human” smell.
    Maybe they will realise that the smell belongs to something that is much, much bigger than them and leave your precious trailcams alone.
    Whatever you use I certainly hope it deters them. Cannot wait for the next Blogpost.

    1. Hi Denise!
      I thought about that, but I am afraid the elephants will then take offence, rip my trailcam off the tree and step on it! hahaha

  6. Beste Linda,

    Blijf doorgaan met je verhalen. Zo grappig en met veel humor geschreven. Heerlijk. Ik zit altijd met een grote grijns te lezen. Makes me happy ?
    Hartelijke groet,
    Ella ( oud KLM -collega en dol op safari’s en the bush…)

  7. The human animal is far to dangerous to live with! They think they know so much; they know nothing!
    Humans are out to destroy and kill. I don’t think most people could ever be compassionate enough to live with animals in peace!

    1. Sorry you feel that way, Heila! I am certainly trying my best and love every second of living among everything wild! Something that I am trying to teach our boys too.

  8. They chewed the new one too? Naughty kids! Is it possible to put it higher up a tree where they can’t reach? No – probably not because then you couldn’t reach either without a ladder each time, and that would be a pain in the ass. An alarm to hiss at them when they get too near? They would probably get used to that too and forget to be afraid after a while. What do hyenas really not like? A bee hive? Would bees wake up and protect their hive at night? Trying to think of a solution, but not really finding it. Sorry. Love your stories, even the bad luck ones.

  9. Dear Linda Two-legged

    Yes, we know who you are. Hyaenas pick up all the dirt very quickly and despite us not being of the Malelane Clan, the messages come through the night in those yips and howls and cackles that you hear. We know the green two-legged too. In fact he is often quite friendly and shows his teeth at us in an unthreatening way. And of course we made the connection because the one that bumped into you a while ago was able to link you to the description howled into the night by the Malelane Clan.

    Let me explain how your strange-looking boxes met their fate. I’m sure you must have watched baby hyaenas at play? That playtime is also, as you well know, their learning time and what they are taught is to investigate every unusual object in case it is edible. So all of us do this. It also informs us of danger which is why we sniff and stare and take a bite and back off initially. This initial contact could result in a warning such as a hiss or a growl from the unknown object which will tell us to keep away. The other thing is, a light comes on when we pass the box – we don’t really like light at night, we prefer to work in darkness so naturally we will try to destroy the light. As for smell – well, yes, the two-legged smell is there all right and it smells pretty edible so naturally we try it – and then get frustrated and use it to exercise our jaws – its very challenging and some of us are developing exceptionally powerful jaw muscles – thank you for that.

    We do recognise that you are trying to be friendly and enjoy meeting us which is quite flattering as we have been called by many unkind names in the past . . . .

    So . . . we suggest that you work on creating a sort of strongbox to encase your object in and make it smell of something other than two-leggeds or other prey. We would like to think that other two-leggeds would learn something good about us if they see what you see from the box.

    We appreciate the fact that you have approached us in a non-threatening way regarding this problem, but just one request – please do not mention the word b _ ne; it puts us into a frrrennnnzzzy.

    We hope to see you again at the Wolhunter meeting place.

    The Matriarch of the Wolhunter Hyaena Clan

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