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    Girl keeps hyenas as pets in Ajloun

    A Jordanian seven-year-old girl has sparked interest among Jordanians and even reached international media outlets such as Al Jazeera and Reuters due to her potentially dangerous proclivity. Nourseen Frehat, from the northern hilly region of Ajloun, has been keeping striped hyenas as pets.
    The girl keeps a number of hyena cubs as cats and in an interview with Reuters she says “I really like hyenas, I asked my father to bring me hyenas and so he did, I really like them.”
    The girl takes after her father, Sleman Frehat, who in addition to hunting hyenas also enjoys interacting with the wild predator.
    The striped hyena is native to MENA and Central Asia. The hardy predators are more closely related to cats than to dogs and due to its vulnerable status, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as near threatened.
    This isn’t the first time hyenas are found kept as pets. Just one year ago, the Jordan Times reported of a man in Karak keeping a hyena in captivity.
    The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature was forced to intervene and take legal action against a man keeping a hyena in Karak, as the Jordanian Agriculture Law stipulates it is illegal to kill, possess, transport, sell or display for sale wild birds and animals.
    Despite videos showing the girl playing blissfully with the cubs, they are unlikely to maintain such a docile nature when fully grown. Hyenas remain a wild species and despite attempts to domesticate the animal, they make for an unsuitable and even dangerous pets.

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