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» Hello snopes.com » Archived Forums » Critters Archive » Man's best friend - the hyena (with pic)

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Author Topic: Man's best friend - the hyena (with pic)
Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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I was the recipient of the attached picture today - apparently taken in Nigeria it shows, as you can see, hyenas and baboons(?) on chains being paraded around as 'pets' - does anybody know anything about this? Is it common or just another way to show-off how hard you are to everybody else in downtown Lagos? (asssuming it's lagos).

It strikes me that keeping a baboon or a hyena on a leash could only lead to trouble for somebody - are they kept to attack other humans perhaps? I have heard that hyenas have been tamed and kept by man in Africa as herd animals, usually to guard against predators (I wouldn't mess with them).

Any thoughts?

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Doc J.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Apparently the photos were "taken by guys who work for a south african cellphone company and were sent up to nigeria from johannesburg."

In another article I read (can't remember which magazine) the men were described as "money collectors"

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tagurit
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I wouldn't mess with either of them. I can't explain why, but that picture just horrifies me.

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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AAMAH

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Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'll be getting together with a Nigerian friend from Lagos province today, I'll make sure to ask him about this and report back.

--- G.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Interesting Doc J - I could see why such creatures would be handy in the intimidatory world of debt collecting - the mere sight of something as wild and dangerous as a hyena would be enough for me to double my payments lickety-split - and i'm pretty sure there are few Nigerians who aren't taught from an early age what an upset baboon could do to your complection...

I await your findings with a due sense of intrigue Morrison'...

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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oh pleeze
It's So Cheesy (to Fall in Love)


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here are two more pix

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op

i'm taking the afternoon off to stalk my previous boss who fired me for taking afternoons off.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Hyena-on-a-leash-a-chow

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

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Morrison's Lament
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, I just met him, and he said he's never seen a hyiena on a chain just walking down the road like that, but that criminal gangs often keep an array of fierce untamed animals. They serve to both intimidate people and are also useful for unleashing on people you want to torture/kill, as they get rid of the remains in the process.

He said he was deeply doubtful these were normal law-abiding citizens looking for a nice pet. However, he did concede that his family once kept some kind of huge wolf hybrid (he honestly wasn't sure what it was, but it was a huge, fierce and at least 50% dog) that ate several live chickens a day. They had to put it down after it started eating the neighbour's chickens.

So I'd say the average pet in Nigeria isn't necessarily stereotypical, but these guys still look like gangsters. Note the big sticks and unnecessarily massive chains. These kinds of gangs roam all over Lagos (although usually sans chained animals!).

--- G.

ETA: I wonder, is it possible to cross-breed hyienas and dogs? That might provide a link between his childhood pet/beast and the picture...

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Morrison's Lament:
...criminal gangs often keep an array of fierce untamed animals. They serve to both intimidate people and are also useful for unleashing on people you want to torture/kill, as they get rid of the remains in the process.

It would seem that a truly fierce and untamed animal would be just as dangerous to the handler as to the intended victim.


quote:
Originally posted by Morrison's Lament:
ETA: I wonder, is it possible to cross-breed hyienas and dogs? That might provide a link between his childhood pet/beast and the picture...

Negative. Hyenas and dogs are not even closely related.

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Look, as far as I'm concerned, I don't believe these animals are used for criminal activity until I see credible evidence that they are. One of them is being walked without a muzzle. How do we know their handlers are criminals? Could these just be bizarre cultish "status" pets, like pitbulls in America? Is there any evidence that a hyena could be trained at all, let alone trained to attack? Could those big sticks be to keep the hyenas in line, rather than to whack people?

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

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RichardMi
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ask the folks over in the Photo Gallery how these pictures were made.
RJM

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Doc J.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Surely intimidation can itself be a criminal activity - even if these animals are simply props, rather than trained killers, that could still constitute an offence.
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