Spot-tastic news! Monarto Safari Park is thrilled to welcome two Spotted Hyena cubs to the world, born on 23 January.
Carnivore Keeper Tosh Leahy said this is mum Kanzi’s first successful litter and she is taking great care of her two cubs.
“Kanzi is spending a lot of time in the den and we can see on the den cam that the cubs are suckling well.
“They already look to be very strong and we expect them to be quite boisterous as they grow, they’ll certainly keep Kanzi on her toes!” said Tosh.
Kanzi gave birth to three cubs, but one cub did not survive. While it is always sad to lose a cub, in the wild it is natural that a third cub in a litter will not survive as Spotted Hyena’s only have two teats.
This is the second litter of threatened hyena cubs born at the park in just four months, with Forest also giving birth to a cub in November.
“Forest is an amazing mum and the cub is growing up fast under her attentive care, it’s now looking less like a newborn and more like a small hyena.
“Cubbie is starting to get more comfortable around humans and a lucky group of visitors on our Lions at Bedtime experience have even spotted the cub in the den.
“It’s a busy time to be a hyena keeper but we’re loving every minute!”
All three hyena cubs will remain in their private den spaces until they are around five months old before making their debut in the public habitat. Kanzi and Forest will continue to raise the cubs until they are around 12 to 16 months old.
Determining the sex of the cubs is not as straightforward as a visual examination and DNA samples will be sent abroad to Serengeti Hyena Research Group in Berlin for testing.
Spotted Hyenas are one of more than 157,100 species on the IUCN Red List.
While the wild Spotted Hyena population is currently faring well, with an estimated 27,000 to 47,000 Spotted Hyena remaining in the wild, persecution by humans and habitat loss remains a threat to the species.
Each cub is an im-paw-tant step forward in ensuring the species survives for generations to come. By visiting the clan at the park, the public can support conservation of these unique carnivores.