A 2021 study by the University of Michigan in the US found that scavenging hyenas provide significant health and economic benefits to the African cities they roam. Spotted hyenas collectively remove 207 tonnes (456,000lb) of animal carcass waste annually in Mekelle, the capital of northern Ethiopia's Tigray region, the researchers calculated. The hyenas feed on livestock carcasses dumped in landfill sites on the outskirts of Mekelle. The researchers wanted to understand whether by devouring these carcasses, hyenas helped prevent pathogens from spreading to people and livestock.

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