Researcher Demystifies the Hyena Meat Puzzle

Prof. Kay Holekamp

Prof. Kay Holekamp, a renowned researcher from Michigan State University, has stated that the perceptions that hyenas’ testicles have medicinal value are wide off the mark.

Speaking during a recent webinar organized by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture (JKUAT), Prof. Holekamp who studies the behavioral ecology and conservation of spotted hyena at Maasai Mara, was quick to point out that the misguided misconceptions surrounding the hyenas is a threat to their existence.

“Both the male and female hyenas’ genitalia have no medicinal value and it would be very hard to distinguish the males and females since they are very similar in appearance,” said. Prof. Kay.

She further explained that exploiting hyenas’ testicles and meat for revenue is not only impractical but the action will expose hyenas to unfathomable poaching crisis.

Despite being known for their greed and destructive nature, Prof. Holekamp explained that hyenas play a massive role in our ecosystem.

“Hyenas not only remove tons of carcass waste from the environment which leaves a cleaner and conducive surrounding but they also feed on anthrax and tuberculosis infections which could gravely affect human beings and cost billions of dollars in treatment,” stated Prof. Holekamp.

On his part, Dr.Ogoto Mwebi, Head of Osteology at Nairobi Museum of Kenya, explained that Hyenas  exist in four species; spotted hyena, stripped hyena, brown hyena and Aardwolf hyena.

In bid to enforce policies that will promote the conservation of the animal, Dr. Ogoto said that “we need to know how the hyena feeds in order to conserve it. Hyenas are carnivorous in nature and have become a major menace to pastoral communities as they prey on their livestock.”

With hyenas are gradually becoming an endangered species and might be on the brink of extinction the webinar was organized under the auspices of the University’s Zoology Department led by Dr. Gladys Onyambu to deliberate on conservation measures aimed at ensuring survival of hyenas.

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