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Kpelekpe is a were-hyena in Yoruba mythology


Some hyenas are sometimes suspected to be men or women who shape-shift at night, to prey upon sheep and cattle, and, if the opportunity offers, upon human beings.


Such man-hyenas are believed to be able, by means of certain howls and cries, to compel people to go out to them in the dark forest to be devoured. A similar belief is found in Abyssinia.


The weird "laugh" of the hyena, and its nocturnal habits, no doubt account for this superstition, just as similar causes have led to the owl being universally regarded as a bird of ill omen.