The Lion King Wiki
The Lion King Wiki
Shenzi's clan
Shenzi's clan
Full view of hyenas.png
Organizational information


Notable members



   Elephant Graveyard (formerly)
   Pride Lands (formerly)


Pride Landers (formerly)



One of the things the directors asked for is that they came across as sort of mad clowns. You know, that kind of evil, but funny, but evil, but funny, but evil thing.
Alex Kupershmidt on the hyenas[1]

Shenzi's clan is a group of hyenas who lived in the Elephant Graveyard during the reign of Mufasa. They later became allied with Mufasa's brother Scar under the leadership of their matriarch, Shenzi.


The Lion King

Look at you guys. No wonder we're dangling at the bottom of the food chain.
Shenzi about the hyenas[src]

The most prominent of the clan are Banzai, Ed, and Shenzi, the "friends" and allies of Scar. The three first appear in the Elephant Graveyard, trying to dispose of Simba and Nala when they wander into their territory, a plan later revealed to be orchestrated by Scar. When the hyenas fail due to Mufasa's intervention, Scar is furious but quickly forms another plan, promising the hyenas that when he becomes king, they will never go hungry again.

An explanation of pack structure

The hyenas then help Scar kill Mufasa via a wildebeest stampede and then chase Simba away from his father's dead body. They try to kill Simba under Scar's orders, but when he runs through a dense thorn thicket, they give up on the chase and decide to leave him to die in the desert, and only kill him if he returns to the kingdom. After the monarch and his heir are done away with, the hyenas infest the Pride Lands and become Scar's bodyguards and minions under his new reign.

Much later, as the Pride Lands have become barren, the hyenas start to become more hungry and complain to their king, but Scar simply ignores them.

When a young adult Simba returns from his self-exile from the Pride Lands to challenge his uncle, the hyenas reinforce Scar's position as king when Simba orders for Scar to step down. After Scar gets his nephew to confess his responsibility for Mufasa's death, the hyenas surround the two lions as they head toward the edge of Pride Rock, presumably protecting Scar.

Scar's army of hyenas

After Simba gets Scar to confess that he killed Mufasa, a climactic battle between the Pride Landers and the hyenas breaks out amidst the flames of Pride Rock, resulting in several hyenas being killed in the flames or fleeing Pride Rock. In the midst of this, Simba chases Scar to the top of Pride Rock in the hopes of avenging his father's death. Scar, in an attempt to save his own life, tells an enraged Simba that the hyenas are "the real enemies," accusing them of plotting Mufasa's death and taking over the pride, which angers the hyenas, who overhear him. A brief duel erupts between the two lions, which ends with Simba emerging victorious and flipping his uncle over a cliff where Scar lands at the base of Pride Rock, among the defeated hyenas.

The hyenas, determined to get revenge on Scar, surround their fallen leader and turn on him. Scar continually pleads for his life, but the hyenas ignore him. The hyenas leap upon Scar and begin to devour him alive as they are all engulfed in flames. However, the former are confirmed to have made it out alive in the sequel, and are stated to have been exiled from the Pride Lands.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Ewww, this place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off.
Nuka about the hyenas[src]

According to Nuka, the hyenas fled the Pride Lands after the battle, implying that at least some of the hyenas survived the battle of Pride Rock. However, the result of their exile from Pride Rock had left the Elephant Graveyard dormant of hyenas.

The Lion King 1½

Timon: Hey, Pumbaa. What do you call a hyena with half a brain?
Pumbaa: Beats me, Timon. What?
Timon: Gifted!
—Timon and Pumbaa joke about hyenas[src]

When Timon and Pumbaa venture into a different section of the Elephant Graveyard, they view Scar's hyena army singing "Be Prepared" while marching. Later on in the film, after Timon and Pumbaa perform their hula song to clear the way for Simba to confront Scar, some of the hyenas pursue them, only to flee after being gassed by Pumbaa's stench.

The hyenas as they appear in The Lion King 1½

After Timon reunites with his mother and his uncle, Pumbaa notices the hyenas protecting Scar while Simba is dangling from the edge of Pride Rock. Timon coordinates a plan for Ma and Uncle Max to dig a tunnel to trap the hyenas while he and Pumbaa try to get the hyenas away from Simba.

When Simba goes after Scar, the hyenas follow him and try to prevent him from reaching Scar but are distracted by Timon and Pumbaa, who insult the hyena pack with offensive jokes. Ed stupidly laughs at them, causing Banzai to slap him. The hyenas then go after Timon and Pumbaa and manage to corner them in a cave of Pride Rock. Timon and Pumbaa try several tactics to stall them while Uncle Max and Ma dig a tunnel underneath them to make the hyenas fall off Pride Rock, but when the trap tunnel initially fails, the hyenas move in to kill Ma, Pumbaa, and Uncle Max. Unwilling to give up, Timon jumps down between Shenzi's legs and bravely completes the tunnel. The hyenas then fall through the ground and plummet to the bottom of Pride Rock, where they meet and confront Scar after he is thrown off a cliff by Simba.

The Lion King (2019 film)

Much like the original, the clan is led by Shenzi, the matriach. However, Banzai and Ed are renamed Kamari and Azizi, respectively, with some changes in their personality. Shenzi, in particular, is depicted as a ruthless matriach who is both feared and respected by all of her clan members.

The clan surrounds Simba and Nala in the Elephant Graveyard

The hyenas make their first appearance when Simba and Nala venture into the Elephant Graveyard. Shenzi and her clan quickly surround them and determine to make them their meals despite Zazu's warning that they will reignite a war with Mufasa. Only after Mufasa rescues Simba and Nala does Shenzi finally give up, as her clan is no match for Mufasa. She reluctantly lets the lions return to the Pride Lands.

That evening, they are visited by Scar, the younger brother of Mufasa, who offers an alliance. In exchange for help in killing Mufasa, Scar promises to allow the hyenas into the Pride Lands, where they can eat whatever they want. Shenzi agrees to the arrangement.

The hyenas are inspired by Scar to help him take over the Pride Lands

The hyenas cause a wildebeest stampede at the gorge under Scar's instruction. While Mufasa is killed as planned, Simba survives. The hyenas chase Simba until he and a hyena fall off a canyon. Shenzi orders Kamari and Azizi check that Simba is dead. Kamari, who is afraid of falling to his death, assures himself and Azizi that Simba could not have survived the fall, and they lie to Shenzi that they had eaten Simba. They are unaware that Simba is still alive, crouched below them on the lower reaches of the ridge. Later, once Scar is crowned king, Shenzi and her clan move into the Pride Lands.

During Scar's reign, the hyenas are in charge of hunting for the pride, acting directly under Scar's orders. Scar's poor leadership and the hyenas' unsatiable hunger leads the Pride Lands to suffer a severe famine, leaving the kingdom as nothing more but a barren wasteland.

The hyenas overhunt the Pride Lands, which leads to a famine

In order to force Sarabi into becoming his queen, Scar creates a rule that the lions can only eat the leftovers of the hyenas' meal. During these times, Shenzi develops a rivalry with Nala, whom she had failed to eat when they had first met.

When a full-grown Simba returns and challenges Scar for the throne, the hyenas fight for Scar against Simba, the lionesses, and Simba's friends. In the battle, Shenzi fights Nala, but is defeated. Seeing Scar being chased by Simba to the top of Pride Rock, Shenzi chases after them with Kamari and Azizi. However, the hyenas overhear Scar's attempts to shift the blame on the hyenas. Angered by his betrayal, the hyenas leave Scar to fight Simba alone until the latter throws him off Pride Rock. Scar survives the fall, but is betrayed, attacked, and slaughtered by Shenzi and her soldiers.

Notable members



  • Shenzi is shown to be the matriarch of the clan. This is akin to real-life hyena hierarchy, as females are the dominant gender.[4]
  • In the stage musical, it is revealed that the hyenas are the cause of the famine, as they forced the lionesses to over-hunt.

In development

  • Originally, Scar's minions were cape dogs.[10]
  • During the early stages of Simba's Pride, Banzai was going to appear in the film, as Cheech Marin reportedly reprised his role.[11]


  1. YouTube favicon.png The Making of The Lion King Part 1 on the Alexandra Lett YouTube channel
  2. Dave Burgess. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on October 13, 2020.
  3. Alex Kupershmidt. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on October 13, 2020.
  4. Spotted Hyena. National Geographic. Retrieved on October 13, 2020.
  5. Revealed in Disney's The Lion King (1994). Written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton, and directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.
  6. YouTube favicon.png Hidden Surprises from The Lion King | The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar | Disney Channel on the Disney Channel YouTube channel
  7. Katschke, Judy. Vulture Shock (1994). ISBN: 071728350X.
  8. Revealed in Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998). Written by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, and directed by Rob LaDuca and Darrell Rooney. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  9. Revealed in Disney's The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015). Written by Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  10. CapeHuntingDogs .png
  11. CHEECH COPS PLUM ROLE ON 'NASH'. Daily News. Retrieved on October 13, 2020.