The striped hyena is predominantly a scavenger; its diet consisting mainly of carrion and human refuse. It scavenges large and medium-sized mammals, such as zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, and impalas, even eating bones from carcasses if the meat has been picked off. It supplements its diet with fruit, insects, and occasionally by killing small animals like hare, rodents, reptiles, and birds. The striped hyena forages principally at night, individually travelling throughout its home range searching for food in no apparent pattern. Travelling speeds average 2-4 km/h, occasionally increasing to 8 km/h when trotting. Wind direction is not used to determine direction of travel, but the striped hyena will respond quickly to the scent of carrion brought by the wind. It also visits established food sites, such as garbage dumps around human settlements, fruit trees, and temporary sites of large kills. Water is consumed every night if it is available, but the striped hyena can survive without water for long periods and live under desert conditions.
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