The story behind ''The Hyena and Other Men'' -- We uncover the inspiration for photographer Pieter Hugo's latest project

By Kate Ward
Updated February 01, 2008 at 05:00 AM EST

The story behind ”The Hyena and Other Men”

Transfixed by a cell-phone pic of a group of Nigerian men walking with a shackled hyena, prizewinning South Africa-based photographer Pieter Hugo felt compelled to go to Nigeria himself. Once there, he traveled beside the so-called Hyena Men, a roving band of performers who entertain villages with their pet hyenas, monkeys, and pythons. The result? Hugo’s new book, The Hyena and Other Men, which features 33 tender portraits of the troupe and their animal companions.

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