South African animal welfare officers captured a hyena cub on Thursday that had been roaming the northern Johannesburg suburbs creating panic.

The animal had been spotted running around several leafy suburbs, before it was cornered and darted by veterinarians from the Johannesburg Zoo, where it has been transferred.

It was not clear where the young brown hyena had escaped from, and how long she had been on the loose.

A supervisor from the zoo, Cherene Williams estimated the female hyena was around six months old and said it may have wandered away from its mother.

She said the cub's teeth had not fully developed, and her paws were damaged from running on concrete. However she added the cub could have attacked people if threatened.

Brown hyenas are a rare species, found in few places in Africa.

Apart from being scavengers, they sometimes hunt antelope and zebra. They are solitary animals, unlike the spotted hyena.

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