I got mailed this directly, so I've put it on the forum for everyone to see....

What do hyenas eat in the zoo?

From Kashay

Well, according to the San Diego Zoo website: "Striped hyenas at the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park are fed carnivore diet [ground beef and beef heart. It also contains additional amino acids, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.], assorted fruits and vegetables, a mouse or rat [from a supplier who raises rats especially for laboratories and feeding zoo animals], and small bones.

At the Toronto Zoo they feed the Spotted Hyaena's on: "Feline diet [Horse meat, Cellulose, Tricalcium Phosphate, Toronto Zoo Carnivore Supplement, Vitamin E, Fatty Acid Supplement, Taurine. No bone or meat meal is included in this diet.], milk bone biscuits, on occasion will be given cheddar cheese as a treat (usually when it is necessary to give them some medicine)."

I hope this gives an idea of what they get fed!

As it happens, I saw hyenas being fed at Colchester Zoo (England) twelve days ago.  It was an interesting process.  The hyenas were removed from their usual large enclosure, and zoo staff entered with hunks of meaty bone which they proceeded to drag around on the ground to create a smell-trail.  Then they hid the food in three or four packages around the enclosure.  After they'd left, the hyenas were released back into the enclose, where they ... didn't seem very excited :-)  I suppose this comes of keeping zoo animals well-fed, but they appeared rather bored with the whole process and ambled around in a rather desultory way until they found the packages, then nibbled casually on the contents.

It was a lot more fun watching them feed the mandrills in the next enclosure!

By the way, if anyone gets a chance to visit Colchester Zoo, it's worth it for an experience I've never had before: you can get up close and personal with the elephants, including feeding them little bits of food.  Very exciting.