… einer Hyäne begegnen. Ich habe es ausprobiert!
In Harar/Äthiopien gibt es einen besonderen Brauch: Wilde Hyänen werden von sogenannten Hyänenmännern dressiert. Sie kommen auf ihr Rufen hin nur nachts und lassen sich mit Aas füttern. Schon Reiseberichte vom Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts berichten von diesen Männern, die angeblich immer aus einer Familie stammen.
As night falls two „hyena men“ set themselves up just outside the city walls of Harar/Ethiopia. The practice of feeding hyenas is a relatively recent phenomenon (it probably began sometime in the 1950s). Some say it is linked to an older tradition in which hyenas were given porridge to discourage them from attacking townsfolk during times when food was scarce. The ritual starts by calling the hyena by name. The first sight of Africas’s second-largest predator is usually of vague shadows and luminous green eyes as they skuld in and out of the torchlight. As the pack grows more confident, they dart forward with their peculiar gait until all reservations are lost and they approach the“ hyena man“ (or me!) to be fed. Hyenas are far bigger than most people realise and their jaws are some of the strongest in the animal kingdom, quite capable of crunching through bones as thick as skulls. Seeing them in action is both enthralling and terrifying. I was one of them.