Hyenas are frequently vilified and often feared. Hemingway once described the hyena as a stinking, foul devourer of the dead, with jaws that crack the bones the lion leaves.
But a new study concludes that spotted hyena scavenging provides significant public health and economic benefits to the African cities they roam.
In a study conducted in and around the Ethiopian city of Mekelle, home to 310,000 people and 120,000 livestock animals, a University of Michigan conservation ecologist and two colleagues found that spotted hyenas annually remove 207 tons of animal carcass waste. MORE