The Striped Hyena is mainly native to Central Asia, North and East Africa, Middle East, and India. Striped Hyenas take advantage of being nocturnal and can hunt when it is totally dark with no problem. Despite being skilled hunters, Striped Hyenas are scavengers and rarely hunt live animals. The Striped Hyena is a near-threatened species with a global population estimated to be under 10,000 mature individuals. Hunting, poisoning, habitat lost, and road accidents are the major factors contributing to their decline and pushing them closer towards becoming a threatened species.
On the outskirts of the municipality Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut, located in the Central District of Israel, lived a well-known female Striped Hyena locally known as Ruthy. Every night, she entered the city to forage for scraps in rubbish bins. Not everyone was keen on her nightly habits. Twice she was captured by the authorities and relocated, in both attempts she made her way back to the city. A small group of frightened residents represented by local lawyers filed a suit against the Nature and Parks Authority, demanding an eviction order for Ruthy the Hyena. In December 2018, the Israeli court ruled that Ruthy should be trapped and relocated to the ‘Hai-Bar’ Yotvata Nature Reserve in the southern district of Israel. The court’s decision caused a heated debate within’ the local community, Ruthy’s devoted fans couldn’t stay silent and soon the complicated situation hit the headlines of Israel. Meanwhile, the rangers pursued the mission of capturing and relocating Ruthy. However, the authorities soon discovered that Ruthy was very intelligent and skittish after being relocated twice before, she escaped all ambushes and traps the rangers had set. The authorities abandoned the mission a few weeks later.
On July 16th, 2022, at age six, Ruthy was struck and killed by a vehicle near the city of Modi‘in, on Highway 443 in the central district of Israel. Ruthy was the most famous Striped Hyena (and predator) in Israel. She raised cubs at least twice, and possibly more.