Spotted hyenas usually eat a diet high in large terrestrial herbivores, especially zebras, gazelles, buffaloes and wildebeests. Although they occasionally behave as scavengers, spotted hyenas are primarily hunters.
Spotted hyenas are very adaptable and hunt almost any herbivorous animal when common food sources cannot be found. They inhabit a large portion of Africa, so their diet changes with location. Other favored prey for hyenas includes eland, topi, impala, warthog, springbok, kudu, hare, and some domesticated or farm animals. They have also been observed hunting rhinoceros and hippopotamus. Theses hyenas are often in direct competition with lions, resulting in each species stealing or scavenging from the other's hunt. The only known area where spotted hyenas procure the majority of their diet through scavenging is in Zambia.