Can Hyenas be domesticated?

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No, hyenas are not domesticable. Hyenas are wild animals with instinctive behaviours and physical traits that exclude them from being domesticated.

Unlike domesticated animals such as dogs and cats, hyenas have not been selectively bred for features that make them compatible with human living situations over thousands of years.

They have intricate social structures and specialised hunting behaviours that make domestication difficult. Furthermore, hyenas have powerful jaws and keen teeth, which represent a considerable risk to humans’ safety.

As a result, domesticating hyenas is neither practical nor recommended.

Certainly! Due to a variety of circumstances, hyenas cannot be domesticated. First and foremost, their innate behaviour and instincts render them unfit for domestication.

In the wild, hyenas are extremely social creatures that live in intricate hierarchical groups. Their social structure, which includes dominating females and complex communication systems, is difficult to adapt to human households.

Furthermore, hyenas have distinct hunting behaviours and food requirements that are difficult to mimic in a domesticated setting.


They are opportunistic scavengers and skilled predators, consuming a wide range of prey, including bones and tough hides, using their muscular jaws and sharp teeth. Meeting their food requirements would be difficult and potentially dangerous for humans.

Hyenas have a strong predatory instinct and are noted for having one of the strongest biting forces among animals. While this adaptation is necessary for survival in the environment, it creates a substantial safety risk when they encounter with humans. Attempting to domesticate hyenas would endanger both humans and the animals.

Domestication often entails generations of selective breeding to produce animals with favourable characteristics for human company, such as docility, adaptability, and low aggression.

However, hyenas have not been subjected to such selective breeding, and their genetic composition is still tightly linked to their natural instincts and behaviours.

Finally, hyenas cannot be tamed due to their complicated social structures, specialised hunting behaviours, and innate instincts.

It is critical to observe these amazing creatures from a safe distance and to support conservation efforts to keep them in their native habitats.

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Why can’t we domesticate hyenas?

Hyenas cannot be domesticated for a variety of reasons. For starters, hyena genetics do not lend themselves to domestication. Hyenas, unlike domesticated animals such as dogs and cats, have not undergone the genetic alterations required to adapt to a domesticated lifestyle.

Domestication is the process of selecting breeding animals over generations to develop attributes favourable to human companionship, such as docility and adaptability. Hyenas have not gone through this process, and their genetic traits are still firmly linked to their wild instincts and behaviours.

Second, hyenas’ intricate social structure poses a considerable hurdle to domestication. Hyenas live in groups that are hierarchical, with powerful females leading the pack.

Their social dynamics and communication systems are extraordinarily complex, having evolved over millions of years. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to adapt these social systems to suit into a human household environment.

The hunting behaviour and food requirements of hyenas render them unsuited for domestication. In the wild, hyenas are opportunistic scavengers and adept hunters. They feed on a variety of food, including bones and tough hides, using their muscular jaws and keen teeth.

Meeting their food requirements would be difficult and potentially dangerous for humans. It is impossible to mimic their natural hunting behaviours in a domesticated situation.

Concerns about hyena safety also play a factor in their unwillingness to be domesticated. Hyenas have strong jaws and a strong hunting instinct. Their bite force is among the strongest of any mammal. While this adaptation is necessary for survival in the environment, it creates a substantial safety risk when they encounter with humans. Domestication is risky for both people and animals because of the potential dangers.

Finally, hyenas lack the domestication history that is seen in successfully domesticated animals. Domesticated animals have been selectively bred and coexisted with people for thousands of years, progressively adapting to human habitats and lives. Hyenas have not been domesticated and are not predisposed to coexist with people.

Finally, genetic variables, complicated social structures, specialised hunting behaviours, safety concerns, and a lack of domestication history all contribute to hyena domestication being impossible.

It is critical to enjoy and respect hyenas in their natural environments, while also focusing on conservation measures to protect their populations and promote their well-being.

The pros and cons of owning a hyena

Owning a hyena as a pet or companion animal is not recommended due to several reasons. However, to provide a balanced perspective, let’s explore the potential pros and cons:


1. Unique and Exotic Pet: Owning a hyena would certainly make for a highly unique and exotic pet. It could be a source of fascination and intrigue, as hyenas are distinctive animals with their own set of intriguing behaviors and physical characteristics.


1. Legal and ethical considerations: Keeping a hyena as a pet is forbidden in many areas due to safety concerns and the possible threat they pose to humans and other animals. It is critical to respect and follow laws and regulations designed to safeguard both the animal and the community.

2. Safety Risks: Hyenas are dangerous animals with powerful jaws, keen teeth, and a strong predatory instinct. They have not been domesticated like dogs or cats, and their natural behaviours can be dangerous. Aggression and unpredictable behaviour have the potential to cause significant harm or even death.

3. Specialised Care and Housing Requirements: Hyenas have unique food and environmental needs that are difficult to meet in a residential setting. They are adapted for wild life and require broad areas to wander and express their natural behaviours. It would be a complicated and costly endeavour to recreate their native environment and provide sufficient nutrition.

4. Challenges in Social and Behavioural Behaviour: Hyenas are highly social animals with complex social structures. To prosper, they require interactions and hierarchies within their own species. Meeting their social demands and mimicking their natural behaviours would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, in a household setting.

5. Conservation Concerns: Hyenas are wild animals that play an important ecological role in their natural habitats. Keeping them as pets can contribute to the illegal wildlife trade and can have negative impacts on wild populations. Supporting conservation efforts and appreciating hyenas in their natural environments is a more responsible approach.

In conclusion, the disadvantages of having a hyena much exceed the potential benefits.

Keeping hyenas as pets is an unrealistic and irresponsible choice due to legal, ethical, safety, care, and conservation considerations.

It is critical to prioritise these animals’ well-being and conservation by admiring them from a safe distance and supporting efforts to protect them in their natural habitats.

What to expect when owning a hyena?

Due to the numerous problems and risks connected with maintaining such a wild animal as a pet, owning a hyena is not recommended. However, there are several considerations to keep in mind if we contemplate the hypothetical circumstance of owning a hyena.

To begin with, owning a hyena would be a one-of-a-kind and exotic experience. Hyenas are intriguing animals with unique physical characteristics, behaviours, and vocalisations. Being close to a hyena could provide an up-close contact with a wild predator as well as the opportunity to observe their natural instincts and behaviours.

It is crucial to note, however, that possessing a hyena may offer legal and regulatory concerns. Exotic animal ownership laws vary by region, and it is banned in many locations to keep hyenas as pets due to safety issues and the potential risk they offer to humans and other animals. Expect legal limits as well as the necessity to follow certain permits and rules if it is even legal in your location.

In addition, owning a hyena would necessitate a tremendous amount of responsibility and devotion. Hyenas have unique dietary and environmental requirements that must be satisfied in order to maintain their health and well-being. It would be critical to provide correct nutrition, a decent living environment, and access to competent veterinary care. To satisfy these requirements, expect tremendous time, effort, and financial resources.

Safety is a crucial consideration when owning a hyena. Hyenas are predatory creatures that live in the wild. They may demonstrate unpredictable behaviour, hostility, or territorial inclinations despite prospective socialisation efforts. Handling and engaging with a hyena is fraught with danger, as their powerful jaws and sharp fangs endanger humans and other animals. To mitigate any safety concerns, expect significant safeguards, secure enclosures, and continual supervision.

It would also be difficult to socialise a hyena and provide enough cerebral stimulation and enrichment. In the wild, hyenas have intricate social structures that would be impossible to duplicate in a domestic situation. Their innate untamed character and natural impulses may be difficult to control, making training and behaviour modification difficult.

Furthermore, keeping a hyena as a pet presents ethical considerations as well as conservation consequences. Hyenas are wild creatures that play critical roles in their habitats. Exotic pet trade encouragement can contribute to wildlife trafficking and have a harmful impact on natural populations. Expect criticism and ethical disputes about the propriety of keeping such a species captive.

To summarise, while it is not recommended to possess a hyena, if one does, one should be prepared for legal constraints, safety problems, socialisation challenges, and ethical considerations.

However, it is critical to prioritise these species’ welfare and protection by appreciating them in their natural habitats and supporting efforts to protect their populations.

Are hyenas dangerous?

Yes, hyenas are classified as hazardous animals. They are formidable carnivores with powerful jaws, razor-sharp teeth, and a strong predatory instinct.

Hyenas are adept hunters and scavengers in the wild, capable of taking down enormous animals. They are known to be fearsome and opportunistic predators.

While hyenas are most dangerous to their natural prey, they can also be dangerous to humans and other animals if provoked or feel threatened.

Hyenas are notorious for their territorial and violent behaviour. When cornered or provoked, they may exhibit protective aggression and attack.

It is crucial to emphasise that hyenas have not been domesticated in the same way that dogs or cats have.

They retain their natural impulses and behaviours, rendering them unsuitable for traditional domestication or human interaction. If maintained in close proximity to humans, their unpredictable character, tremendous bite force, and capacity for aggression pose a considerable safety risk.

READ MORE – Are Hyenas dangerous? Can they be friendly?

The legal criteria for owning a hyena differ widely between countries. Hyenas are considered exotic animals in certain countries, including the United States, and are unlawful to acquire without a permit. Hyenas are considered domestic animals in some countries, like as South Africa, and can be held without any specific licences.

The following is a summary of the legal criteria for owning a hyena in several countries:

  • In the United States, hyenas are considered exotic animals and are forbidden to acquire without a licence. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture issues permits.
  • In Canada, hyenas are considered exotic animals and are illegal to acquire without permission. The Canadian Wildlife Service is in charge of issuing permits.
  • In the United Kingdom, hyenas are considered dangerous wild animals and are banned to acquire without a specific licence. The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) issues licences.
  • In South Africa, hyenas are considered domestic animals and can be held without a specific authorization.
  • In Germany, hyenas are considered dangerous wild animals and are banned to acquire without a specific licence. The licences are issued by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).
  • In France, hyenas are considered dangerous wild animals and are illegal to own without a special license. Licenses are issued by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.

It should be noted that the legal conditions for owning a hyena are subject to change at any time.

Before purchasing a hyena, it is always a good idea to check with the local authorities to find out what the current restrictions are.

In addition to the legal requirements, there are other ethical concerns to consider before owning a hyena.

Hyenas are wild creatures that can become dangerous if not properly cared for.

They require a large amount of space and a particular diet. They must also be socialised from an early age in order to feel at ease around other people.

If you are thinking about getting a hyena, do your research and make sure you are able to offer the animal with the care it needs.

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