Friday, 19 December 2014

A hyena for Christmas? You're having a laugh

They've had lousy PR but these animals can be adorable – and they need our protection

Sunday 14 December 2014

They have been maligned for millennia – from the days of antiquity when they were despised as grave robbers to Disney's portrayal of vicious, laughing henchmen in The Lion King.

But the Born Free Foundation hopes to persuade us that hyenas are "utterly adorable" and worth saving. In the run-up to Christmas, the charity has launched an "adopt a hyena" scheme to help to fund conservation work in Africa. For £2.50 a month, "parents" will get a cuddly toy hyena, a photo and a family history.

The conservation charity admits it may be a tough sell. Mark Jones, a vet and the foundation's wildlife policy programmes manager, said: "Most people would be used to Born Free promoting adoptions for lions and elephants. This is something a little bit different … perhaps not something most people would think of right at the top of the list of animals to adopt. They do get a bit of a bad rap, which is a great shame because they are fascinating and really important animals.

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