Very Smart Hyena Teaches Himself To Walk On 2 Legs

“The more time I get to spend with this hyena, the more I am in awe.”

Nature photographer Cathan Moore has spent years documenting many spectacular wild animals around the Timbavati Game Reserve in South Africa. But there’s one who holds a special place in his heart.

A hyena, who lost the use of his back legs, has taught himself to walk using only his front legs. And despite it all, he’s thriving.

hyena walking on front legs

When Moore first noticed the hyena, who he nicknamed Two-Wheel-Drive, he was worried that the animal had a hard life. But eventually, Moore realized that the hyena was getting along just fine. In fact, the steadfast little guy was as confident as ever.

Hyenas are very resilient animals, and it's not uncommon for them to bounce back quickly after injuries. 

“Naturally, you feel intense remorse, you feel sad,” Moore told The Dodo. “But if you think about it more, you start to realize that he’s a success, and you start to feel really proud of the situation and of all of nature and its resilience.”

Cathan Moore

Moore suspects that the hyena lost mobility about a year ago. The determined animal is still able to travel long distances. Since hyenas are scavengers, Two-Wheel-Drive can also feed himself just fine by locating scraps of food with his keen sense of smell.

“The more time I get to spend with this hyena, the more I am in awe of his incredible character,” Moore wrote in an Instagram post.

Moore noticed that when Two-Wheel-Drive is with his clan, he is still very confident and clearly in charge, always making sure he gets his fair share.

“It really doesn’t stop him from being dominant,” Moore said.

hyena drinking
Cathan Moore

Slowly, Moore has begun to notice Two-Wheel-Drive using his back legs occasionally, suggesting that he might be getting some of his mobility back.

Regardless, it’s clear that even if Two-Wheel-Drive doesn’t regain the full use of his legs, he has the conviction to handle anything. No matter the roadblock, this hyena will take it in stride.

To keep up with Moore's nature photography, follow him on Instagram