How long do hyenas live?

When we think about hyenas, we often tend to think about the animated version of hyenas of the animated movie, The Lion King, instead of the real, living mammal that roams the African surfaces.

But today we’re actually going to talk about them, more specifically, we’re going to take a look at their life expectancy and how it varies depending if they’re living in captivity or out in the wild. Let’s begin.


    Hyenas lifespan

    Hyenas are one of the few mammals that have a somewhat short life expectancy, specially when compared to other typical animal from the African region, which tend to have a longer life expectancy.

    Hyenas can expect to live an approximate of 12 years, although there are some cases of these animals living way past their regular lifespan.

    As you can see, these feline-like mammals have a kinda short lifespan. This is due to several different reason we will touch later on but mostly due to the unique biology of their specie.

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    How long do hyenas live in the wild?

    Like we said before, hyenas tend to live anywhere from 10 to 12 years in the wild, although some hyenas have actually lived up to 21 years, although this is not common for them.

    There's a reason why hyenas have a somewhat short and quick lifespan, and it’s because of their natural lifestyle. Although hyenas themselves are predators, they can be preys sometimes as well.

    Hyenas’ natural enemies are nothing less than the lions, which is why, even when sometimes they (as a group) can hunt a lion, most of the time they end up dead.

    It is due to conditions like these ones that hyenas' life span can be reduced to half when in the wild, meanwhile, they can manage to easily live double their normal life expectancy when in captivity.

    How long do hyenas live in captivity?

    Hyenas tend to live for a much longer time whenever they are raised and live their whole life in captivity.

    How long do hyenas live?

    Meanwhile a regular hyena can live anywhere from 10 to 12 years in their natural habitat, they can make it up to 20 (and even 25) years in captivity without any trouble at all!

    It is important to mention that just as they are cannibals out in the wild, they maintain this same diet in captivity, meaning they are fed raw meat as part of their regular diet to keep them completely healthy.

    Life expectancy of hyenas according to the species


    20 years in captivity.

    Brown hyena

    12 years in the wild and 30 years in captivity.

    Spotted hyena/Laughing hyena

    25 years in captivity.

    Striped hyena

    12 years in the wild and 24 years in captivity.

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