One of the greatest threats to the striped hyena is the misconceptions and superstitions of humans. Believed to be responsible for killing livestock, robbing graves and the disappearance of small children, the striped hyena is severely persecuted through baiting, tracking and trapping. In the past, some governments have paid bounties for every hyena killed, and today the Indian government still organises killings of wolves and striped hyenas in places where carnivores are thought to be responsible for child disappearances. Even when not deliberately persecuted, striped hyenas are often poisoned by bait laid out for other carnivores, captured in traps set by fur trappers for other species, and killed in traffic accidents (3). The once very abundant striped hyena has now declined over most of its range and is extinct in many localities (2) (3); a result of not only those threats listed above, but also caused by a decline in carrion due to decreasing populations of other large carnivores (such as wolves, leopards and tigers) and their prey (3).
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