The unearthly ‘oooo-ooop’ call of a spotted hyena in the night is one of the most memorable sounds of the African bush. Often reviled as a cowardly scavenger, the spotted hyena is actually a very efficient predator whose numbers are governed by a matriarchal social system. Preferring to hunt in packs, the spotted hyena lives on carrion and both large and small mammals. Did you know? When hunting, a spotted hyena can reach speeds of up to 60 km per hour and a pack will easily bring down a wildebeest or zebra.