Perceptions of people towards the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) outside protected areas are central to the management programmes targeted at conserving large carnivores. We conducted interviews using a questionnaire to assess the attitudes and perceptions of people (n = 355) towards the spotted hyaena in western Zimbabwe from October 2014 to February 2015. The study area was split into Environmental Conservation Areas (ECAs) and communal areas based on their distance from the protected area (Fuller Forest) boundary. People's perceptions and attitudes were analysed using multinomial logistic regression. Top model ranking showed that the distance from protected area, livelihood source, and extent of livestock killed by spotted hyaenas had an influence on the perceptions of villagers about the species. Furthermore, it was noted that incentives may play a pivotal role in moderating the human–spotted hyaena conflict. It is recommended that a modified incentive-driven ECA model should be embraced in communal areas to promote and encourage positive attitudes towards the spotted hyaena and other wildlife.
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