Meet the inquisitive hyenas!
Who runs the world!? Girls! Well in the life of a Spotted Hyena clan, this is certainly the case. The beautiful Spotted Hyena at Monarto Safari Park live in a matriarchal hierarchy, meaning the girls rank higher than the boys.
We’re proud to have four clans of hyena at the park, one clan consisting of the very special breeding female and male, Forest and Gamba, and their son Jabali, born in 2022. Gamba, the eldest male, born in 2003 at Singapore Zoo, came to Monarto Safari Park in 2007. Forest, born in 2007, has successfully given birth to eight cubs, including one born through Australia’s first hyena caesarean section in 2013. The procedure was hugely successful and her son has developed into a tough little guy who now lives at National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra with his half bother.
In 2022, male Endesha arrived from Sydney Zoo to join the second clan of females Fahari and Kanzi, born in 2020 and 2017 respectively at Monarto Safari Park.
Males Majani and Jaali live together, creating the third clan. You can often see Jaali and Majani playing around with each other and exploring their habitat together.
Also in 2022, male Enzi arrived from Sydney Zoo to join male Mkoko in the final clan.
The Spotted Hyaena clan are an inquisitive bunch and love different objects, scents and smells. Some of their favourites include finding dog biscuits that have been scattered around their habitat, cracking open ostrich eggs to eat the yolk inside, crunching on turkey drumsticks and even rolling around in tinned cat food or pilchards placed in their habitat which they have a ball investigating.
While the Spotted Hyaena remains widespread in Africa, sadly there is continuing decline in wild populations due to habitat loss and persecution.
The Spotted Hyaena is found in most African habitats, with an estimated global population of between 27,000 and 47,000. These mighty carnivores live and adapt to a variety of habitats from open grasslands, dry semi-desert, forest areas and the acacia bush.
Although they appear similar to dogs with their rounded head and ears, blunt muzzle and thick, long neck, they’re actually more closely related to cats! This isn’t where the misconceptions stop. Hyaenas are unfortunately a misunderstood species, often portrayed simply as daft scavengers. In reality, they’re excellent hunters with a success rate of up to 95%, intelligent and have wonderful personalities.
Hyaenas live in complex matriarchal family structures called a clan which can grow to include up to 80 individuals.
Love hyena? Join the clan and ensure hyenas stay a stride ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these inquisitive creatures.