They were depicted as slobbering, slow-witted beasts by Disney in the hit movie The Lion King, but hyenas are far more intelligent than they have been given credit for.
New research has revealed the African carnivores are adept at solving problems and can even “count”. Scientists now believe the animals may have intelligence levels that match some primates.
The animals, which are highly social, have been found to assess the size of a competing pack which is invading their territory, by listening to their calls. They will only confront the intruders if the “count” shows they have a numerical advantage.
Having spent a great deal of time studying spotted hyenas in Africa, this new research is both fascinating, and yet, in some sense, not entirely surprising. After a year of observing the animals and their social interactions, their behaviors, their hunting patterns and problem solving skills... Having also studied primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, and gorillas, I can absolutely believe that hyenas are on par in intelligence (maybe not quite great ape-grade intelligence, but I'd wager a spotted hyena could outthink a baboon any day...).
Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison
Is it not odd that the bush people of the plains have been telling the white man about the intelligence of hyena for years and years as long as the white man has been in africa.
But when a white scientist says it the masses believe!