Harar Hyenas: An Adventure Waiting to Maim and Kill Someone

...fortunately that someone was not me.  While in Ethiopia for work recently some colleagues and I decided to travel to Harar* for some sightseeing and locally brewed beers.  When I heard they also had trained hyenas that came when called and I could feed them I was all in.  I mean what's a missing finger or two in the name of a good time? 

Evidence that it really did happen and I didn't run screaming into the night after the break.

Trying not to look apprehensive as hyenas pace behind me waiting to be fed.
"Here; put this stick in your mouth." "Um, ok."
"Errrr, what's that you're putting on the stick?"
"Don't worry, it's totally safe, I've trained them not to bite the face of those that feed them."
"Everything's fine.  Everything's good.  Wait, what's that sneaking up behind me?"
No animals (namely me) were harmed in the making of this spectacle.  If you are ever in Ethiopia I would highly recommend taking a side trip to Harar.  It's about an hour and a half drive from Dire Dawa, Ethiopia's 2nd largest city.  It's a lovely place to explore, even on a Sunday when everything is closed.  You can eat local fare; drink locally brewed beers; shop at the market; walk through Old Town; visit the Rimbaud Cultural Center and local museum; and end the day feeding the hyenas or, for the faint of heart, watch others let the hungry beasts lunge at their body parts in the pursuit of dinner.  

*Fun facts about Harar: The walled city located in the eastern Somali region of Ethiopia is considered the fourth most sacred Islamic city by Ethiopian Muslims.  French poet Arthur Rimbaud lived here for 10 years until his death.

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