National Animal of Lebanon

National Animal of Lebanon

The national animal of Lebanon is the striped hyena. The striped hyena is usually smaller in size when compared to the spotted hyena. As a social animal, the national animal of Lebanon lives in packs and is very aggressive. As reported by Abi-Said Said, Lebanon’s national animal is a coward animal, and poses no kind of threat to human life. They are however hunted down and killed by people due to their bad reputation.

Other than Lebanon, the striped hyena can also be found in countries such as Turkey, France and the United States of America. These animals live in arid areas, mountainous regions as well as in woodlands. Its den is usually located in rocky hills, ravines and crevices. They live in these habitats as they have been outcompeted by the spotted hyena in other habitats. Their total population is estimated to be around 14,000 in the wild (IUCN red list, 1998b). The IUCN also lists the national animal of Lebanon as a near threatened species.

Facts about the national animal of Lebanon

  • Common name: striped hyena
  • Scientific name: hyaena hyaena
  • Average weight: 49-120lbs.
  • Average length: 2.8-4.3ft.
  • Habitats: arid areas, mountainous regions and woodlands
  • Diet: rodents, birds, lizards and rabbits
  • Gestation period: 90-91 days
  • Lifespan: 12 years

These animals are long-haired with pointed ears. When frightened, the striped hyena can erect its hair and appear larger than its normal size. There is no significant difference between male and female striped hyena, except for the size. The male ones are slightly larger than their female counterparts. Their hair ranges from gray to straw in color with a black muzzle and a black stripe on their head, torso and legs. The striped hyena, which is the national animal symbol of Lebanon, starts breeding at age 3 years.

It is not well understood why this fearful scavenger was declared the national symbol of Lebanon.