If you came here looking for instructions, read my follow up post, How to Keep a Hyena as a Pet because I give up. In that post you’ll get: the estimated cost of feeding an adult spotted hyena, behavioral concerns in owning an undomesticated pack animal, the particular challenges of containing your pet hyena, its veterinary needs, and legal considerations.
But really, Don’t keep a Hyena as a Pet.
That said— I really do get it. It sounds like such a cool idea to have a hyena as a pet, almost as great as having a tiger for a pet (or maybe even better, consider the niche value). If I had a spirit animal, a hyena would be it. Too bad hyenas are dangerous animals, and wouldn’t make good pets.*
Even the Association of Zoos and Aquariums agrees. Yes, the famed Hyena Men of Africa walk around with them on chains, but they also keep them drugged and never let them get hungry.For content that is more in-depth, consider reading Hyena Domestication 101 (for $3/month tier members). There I explain how I became a lay-expert in hyena domestication, and introduce the barriers to domesticating a hyena. (For the record, it’s not technically impossible.)
*For your convenience, I’ve made a list of animals that are Good Pets, and animals that are Bad Pets.
- Small birds
- Freshwater fish
- Guinea pigs
- Large birds
- Big cats (lions and tigers, etc.)
Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, read about the evidence for (and against Hyena Domestication in Ancient Egypt.