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, lives a well-known female Striped Hyena locally known as Ruthy. Every night, she enters the city to forage for scraps in rubbish bins. Not everyone is 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 transmitter was strapped around her neck before the second attempt, making it easier to track her down after she makes it back to her original habitat on the outskirts of the city. Ruthy had a rapidly growing group of devoted followers and hostile antagonists. Surprisingly, frightened residents represented by local lawyers filed a suit against the Nature and Parks Authority, demanding an eviction order for Ruthy the Hyena. And so, the Israeli court ruled the rangers to relocate Ruthy far down south so that she never will be able to find her way back to the city. The court’s decision caused a heated debate within’ the local community and the devoted fans of Ruthy couldn’t stay silent, this resulted on the complicated situation to hit the headlines in Israel. Not long passed until the rangers pursued the mission to hunt Ruthy down. The plan was to place traps with carcasses, making it an easy ambush on her. However, Ruthy became very skittish after being relocated twice before, her intelligence overran the authorities ambushes and traps, leaving the exhausted rangers no chance in capturing her. Eventually, after one last attempt – the authorities gave up and abandoned the mission. As of two years after the eviction order, Ruthy carries on with her nightly habits; seen with three cubs living on the outskirts of the city and documented by residents roaming the city streets at night and foraging for scraps in rubbish bins.