If someone asked you what kind of wild animal you would like to have as a pet, most of you would say a lion, tiger, leopard or a wolf. This is regardless of the fact that these animals would tear you to bits, given half the chance.

The hyena, on the other hand, would not make the top 100 on that list unless the person making the choice was a weirdo! Why is this animal so despised?

We all at some point wondered why the hyena is slimy, smelly, dirty, a bully and eats mostly dead things. Maybe you have not. I have – given that I do not have much of a social life. But seriously, I bet, given the choice and half a brain, the hyena would not choose what it is and the lifestyle it leads – or would it?

If the hyena was a male lion, strong and majestic, it would probably have to fight for territory with its rival alpha males. Or maybe if he was a leopard, he would have to live a life of solitude away from the cool cats, so to speak. Or perhaps a cheetah, he would be the fastest animal on the planet but without any strength.

But since he is the hyena, he is invisible as a food source. No animal would dare hunt him for food because of that very lifestyle. The hyena is perfectly safe from predators unless it pisses of the king of the jungle.

But as statistics have it, if it was a fair fight between the lion and the hyena, only biting allowed, the latter would win the fight hands down. “Ding! Ding! The hyena takes round 1, 2 and 3.”

Secondly, the hyena does not have to hunt, unless the food source is scarce. All he has to do is gather a mob of hungry friends and challenge the other carnivores for their hard-earned kills.

To the him, this is easier than chasing a 450 KG zebra in the hot sun. If you think of it from this perspective, the hyena is more of a master mind than the famous hare as the African folklore put it.

As much as we would like to write-off the this bone-crushing scavenger, he is clearly one of the brightest animals in the wild. Taking the role of a nobody so as to slowly sneak his way into the most private places of the animal kingdom; right by the king’s table and uninvited, dine with him.

No wonder then he spends most of his time laughing at the other animals. He even has the most sophisticated species – human beings – fooled. So would you consider a hyena for a pet now?