Mr. John Eickler used to collect animals for zoos, but has given that up for?
Mr. John Eickler used to collect animals for zoos, but has given that up for the somewhat safer task of supplying birds to private collectors.
A year ago, he was given a collector's item for himself -- a hyena cub. Since bringing it back to his home north of Dar es Salaam, Mr. Eickler has tamed the animal -- normally one of the fiercest wild animals in the world -- and keeps it as a pet.
Jo-Jo, as the hyena is called is normally kept on a long moveable chain attached to an overhead line.
Although he's sometimes shy, the servants and Mrs. Eickler feed him by hand. His favourite meal is crushed bone, which he refused to share with the family dog.
Jo-Jo accompanies his master on trips to nearby Bahari Beach, and bathers often mistake the splashing hyena for a dog.
The animal is completely tame, and his sharp teeth, although capable of biting off a man's limb, often pull playfully at visitors' clothes.
Mr. Eickler, however, does not think having a pet hyena is all that unusual. He says that the inhabitants of Jo-Jo's native Dodoma region in central Tanzania often keep hyenas as pets.