Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan journeys across Ethiopia to try to understand the true nature of Africa’s loathed and feared hyenas in the third and final episode of Tribes, Predators & Me, airing on Thursday 21 September at 9.00pm on BBC Two.
Weighing up to 90 kilos and capable of killing lions, these are impressive and powerful carnivores. But why does Ethiopia have more hyenas than anywhere else in the world? Starting his journey in the capital he learns that hyenas are tolerated here because people believe hyenas ward off the devil.
Travelling to the remote Omo Valley to meet a cattle-herding people called the Bodi, Gordon finds the attitudes here are starkly different, with local people destroying hyena dens in retaliation for attacks on their livestock.
In an effort to ward of hyena, Gordon dares to sleep outside overnight. He also gets to know the Bodi people, learning how they survive.
Finally, Gordon arrives in Harar, a medieval city with a reputation for having hundreds of hyenas. It is here that he meets hyena experts and learns that these often feared predators have a softer side.
It leaves him with a better understanding of hyenas’ true nature – and how humans might be able to live with them in peace.
Pictured is Gordon Buchanan with hyenas in the graveyard in Harar
Tribes, Predators & Me Episode 3 (of 3) airs on Thursday 21 September 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC TWO.