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No Laughing Matter—Hyena Rescued

Written by Michelle Kretzer | January 9, 2012

Update: After nearly two months of rehabilitation, the rescued hyena ate her last meal in captivity and was released back into the jungle one night last week. The area where she stepped out of her transfer cage was close to where she was found. The local forest department reported that more than a dozen hyenas—possibly from the rescued hyena’s clan—are known to live in the area.

The following was originally posted November 22, 2011:

Late one evening in the Maharastran countryside in India, a terrified hyena was running to escape a pack of street dogs when she tumbled into a well that was not visible to her in the darkness and plunged 50 feet down to the bottom. She had evaded the dogs, but now she was banged up and hopelessly trapped.

A man happened to witness the hyena’s fall, and he jumped into action, calling PETA India for help. The Animal Rahat (“rahat” means “relief” in Hindi) rescue team quickly hatched a plan. The team lowered a large net and, after several tries, was able to scoop up the hyena and pull the scared little animal to safety.

Members of the team took the hyena to the Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation Centre to be checked for injuries and treated, and she will eventually be returned to her clan. Hyenas can hear the calls of their clan from more than 2 miles away when they become separated, so it’s possible that her family members heard her cries and are anxious for her safe return.

Most of us won’t rescue a hyena in our lifetime, but with simple actions like moving turtles off the road and taking stray dogs and cats to an animal shelter, we can save animals whose lives are just as important to them as ours are to us. 

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  • Cynthia says:

    This is the kindness we need more of in our world

  • Lorayne says:

    I’ve rescued 2 pitiful abandoned dogs from the street. The first dog I found in front of my house in Sun City, AZ. He’s a small dog and was filthy, starving, dehydrated and wounded on his hind end. I named him Lucky because we have packs of coyotes in Sun City so that he was very lucky not to have been eaten. Then I found a male unneutered Pekinese living in a parking lot of a small shopping center off of a major highway. He was covered in ticks. He survived by eating cat food that was put out for the feral cats. His kidneys were failing. Now he’s in perfect health. I’ve had to hire a trainer for him as he has behavioral issues, but he is much improved. I had to find a home for Lucky, because he went beserk with golf carts, and Sun City is full of them. Lucky is now the pampered pet of a woman in Tuscon. I do miss him, but with my own dog and the Pekinese taking up so much of my attention, he’s better off in Tuscon.

  • Terri says:

    That’s a definite. Bless the man who seen it and made the effort to save her. My 21 year old daughter and I rescue turtles out of the road all the time. When my daughter was 4 years old, we were traveling down a road. We seen a turtle in the road and a man on a motorcycle coming the opposite direction. My daughter was in the back seat, driver side. The SOB ran over it right in front of my daughter as we passed each other. My daugher started crying, and looked out the rear-view mirror, the poor little box turtle was split apart. JUST PLAIN MEANESS! That was 17 years ago. We haven’t forgotten it.

  • Terri B says:

    What a beautiful looking girl. I’m so happy to hear she is back home. Thank you to those who cared for her.

  • Lucie Zemánková says:


  • Artforalh says:

    Thanks God, there’s who care with animals and humans.

  • Sasha says:

    Animals are just as important as people, and they have feelings too. This made me happy that someone rescued her at the end- we need to do more things like that as individuals.

  • Teri says:

    What a beautiful little girl. I’m glad some human beings still have a heart. I’d have done the same thing. Bless the man that stepped up & helped her!!!

  • AnimalLover says:

    Wow. So wonderful that they saved that poor hyena. And that man!! I’m so proud of him aswell. Hyenas are Beutiful creatures. And although they were the ones who lead the hyena to this, pray for the stray dogs. They need help too. God bless everyone who was involved!! 😀

  • David says:

    What a heart warming story. Keep up the good work!

  • Rev. Meg says:

    I’ve never seen an actual hyena, or a picture of one, before, I have only seen cartoons of them such as the ones in Disney movies. The face facinates me, the eyes especially…she looks almost like a human wearing a mask….

  • Lisa says:

    How wonderful, we read soo much about animals being killed, abused or mistreated but when when a story like this comes along it shows that there are still human beings around the world that do care about animals and well done to the man that got help for her i bet her family are eagerly waiting for her return, all animals even wild need help from time to time.