Photo: Robert Mackenzie

People of Ryerson: Matt Carnivora

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By Robert Mackenzie

Matt Carnivora is a long way from his Hanley, Saskatchewan home.

Carnivora had a nice childhood, raised on a wheat farm by his human mother, Chelsea. His father was a hyena and died when Carnivora was 10 years old.

“That wasn’t too bad because hyenas only live to like age 12 on average,” says Carnivora. “Plus he was a hyena so we never really talked or anything.”

Carnivora was actually born in Toronto, but his mother didn’t want the urban media to catch wind of the first ever human-feline crossbreed.

Growing up as half-human, half-hyena had its benefits in elementary school. “Everyone thought I was really cool because I was fast and had facial hair,” he says.

However, by the time Carnivora entered high school he had to deal with snickering and name-calling from some mean kids.

“It never got too bad, because they all knew I had fangs and weren’t sure if I ate people or not,” he says. “But they always used to call me Teen Wolf, which really pissed me off because I’m half-hyena and Teen Wolf was a werewolf so it doesn’t even make sense as a comparison.”

But through the name calling his mother was always there to support him, “People used to think my mother was weird because she mated with a hyena, but at the end of the day she was always there to boost me up when I needed it,” he says. “Plus, her and my dad seemed to genuinely get along. She was definitely a cat person.”

Carnivora is in his third year of criminology and hopes to one day have a network drama based off his life as a human/hyena lawyer.

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