No Laughing Matter—Hyena Rescued
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.