Hyzelle (Evdorcas Crocuta)
Though only found in the most remote parts of the South African Savanna, the hyzelle is a vital component to the African ecosystem. The hyzelle is an extremely rare hybrid of a hyena and a gazelle. Hyzelles are equipped with dull horns similar to a Gazelle. However, the hyzelle’s body type and coat are more similar to that of a hyena, with short coarse hair and black spots. One of the more interesting facts about a hyzelle is they are omnivores, even though they are well-equipped with a strong jaw and a combination of speed and power to catch and eat other prey twice their weight. Hyzelles are merely omnivores by choice. Hyzelles choose to hunt for approximately 2 hours out of their day. The rest of their time is spent grazing fields and resting, thus making the hyzelle the laziest animal in the African Savanna. Thomas Covel, a professor of Ethology at NYU, stated, “the reason why hyzelles tend to be ‘lazy’ animals is due to the fact that they must conserve energy in case they need to fend off predators such as lions”. Yet some would argue that their lazy tendencies don’t stop at their inability to hunt for long periods of time. Hyzelle’s are also known to hibernate for weeks at a time, for reasons unknown to those who study them, adding on to their lazy reputation. Hyzelles are also known to be extremely territorial animals that have been known to fight with their own pack. Although hyzelle’s hunting tendencies have been rarely documented, hyzelle’s have been known to let out a similar laugh to that of a hyena. This laugh tends to act as a warning system to their prey and scare them off. Even though there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the hyzelle, this African animal is still one of the most interesting animals in the world.
1. Covel, T. (2006). Savanna’s Own Hyzelle. 2(1). 189.