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Where everybody knows your fixation...

I had to request 80 new product codes for little 18-page books, many of them nonfiction, many of them nature-themed. I wandered into my boss's office and started listing titles--"gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, tigers, hedgehogs, snakes, stinky skunks--"

"--No hyenas," she finishes.

There are two books our company publishes that at least mention hyenas. One is called "Hyena, Why Are You Laughing?" and it features a striped hyena, which is just a fact error. The other is called, unflatteringly, if anybody but me would worry about not flattering a hyena, "Animal Scavengers," and the cover photo shows a spotted hyena with a TWO FOOT, VIBRANT BLUE streamer of drool, as if they photoshopped it in or selectively ramped the saturation on the hyena's slobber.

There are no less than three books actually titled "Wolves," and lions figure into no fewer than four titles. Hedgehogs have a book. Camels have two of them. Even the books "Spots" and "Spots and Stripes" ignore the noble, or at least quite competent, hunter H. Crocuta crocuta.

This is because of the powerful lion lobby in educational publishing, mark my words.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2004 01:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Of course it is. We don't try to hide it.
Mar. 12th, 2004 01:40 pm (UTC)
At least we still control the Republican party :)
Mar. 12th, 2004 03:08 pm (UTC)
Well. There's yet another reason for the wholesale obliteration of your kind.
Mar. 12th, 2004 04:23 pm (UTC)
If you're somehow involved in the wholesale slaughter of hyenas, you are off my Christmas list :)
Mar. 12th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC)
Don't forget the entrenched corporate prejudice and negative stereotyping.

(Deleted comment)
Mar. 12th, 2004 01:57 pm (UTC)
(makes bleacchk-ing sound)
Mar. 13th, 2004 06:08 am (UTC)
Hyena meat is unpalatable. Even Kalahari bush men who think termite grubs make a nice afternoon snack won't touch hyena.
Mar. 13th, 2004 01:00 pm (UTC)
At least snakes get a mention. I'm irked when people neglect snakes.
Mar. 14th, 2004 01:47 pm (UTC)
Never neglect snakes.
Mar. 13th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
Why I am not surprised?

About the only books I have that show Hyenas in a positive light is Goodall's Innocent Killers (On Hyenas, Cape Hunting Dogs, and Jackals) and Tamora Pierce's third book in her series, The Immortals. In fact Emperor Mage's cover has a nice image of a hyena looking at you as it's being petted by the main female character.

And the new Lion King DVD, got me into a twist when they pulled a Buffy the Vampire Slayer mistake: When talking about Striped Hyenas, they showed Cape Hunting Dogs. ARGH! Do any of these peons study Zoology? How hard is it to get videos on Spotted or Striped Hyenas?

Hyenas really need to be represented a lot more in the media world, without the old world stereotypes placed on them.
Mar. 14th, 2004 01:47 pm (UTC)
African wild dogs, actually, on the lion king, I got that one too :) There's a Time-Life video--hyenas and lions, ancient enemies, or something, which is on my "to acquire" list. There's a good hyena in "Life of Pi," though, a newish book, quite popular right now.
Mar. 16th, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC)
Actually I think it's the National Geographic video:
Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas
ISBN: 0-7922-2387-X

I could be wrong and that there is a Time-life video as well. The NG is actually a good VHS tape, showing both sides on Lions and Hyenas. But I had to pay a lot for it, goddang Suncoast....

My mom has that book 'Life of Pi', but doesn't the tiger eat or kill almost all the animals on the boat?
Apr. 3rd, 2004 08:01 pm (UTC)
Well, yes, the hyena does eventually lose out, but it's well described. The hyena actually kills more than the tiger--the tiger just kills the hyena. Eternal Enemies is definately the video--I ordered a copy (my lion-loving boss footed the bill for it for my birthday :)

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )