Monarto Safari Park

Spotted Hyena cub gets the perfect name

Monarto Safari Park’s little Spotted Hyena cub has a name!

Forest’s three-month-old cub was named Jabali meaning ‘strong as a rock’ in Swahili, chosen from a shortlist created by keepers with donations to Zoos SA given per vote.

Totalling nearly $2000, the donations will help Monarto Safari Park build vital Spotted Hyena facilities including a cosy cubbing den.

Jabali has also been sexed as male via photos sent to Serengeti Hyena Research Group in Berlin. A DNA skin sample is also currently being tested by the group to confirm.

Spotted Hyena are notoriously difficult to sex, as females have a pseudo penis through which they urinate and give birth.

Assistant curator, Jon Allon, said the team were very thankful for everyone’s support of the hyena clan.

“A big thank you must go to everyone who donated to name Jabali,” he said.

“Not only will the donations help us build facilities for more cubs in the future, but it will also allow us to continue educating our visitors about this amazing species.

“Spotted Hyena are often misunderstood. They are a highly intelligent species, each with unique personalities – just like little Jabali.

“The name is the perfect fit as we’re 98% certain he is a male but this is a great gender neutral name for either sex and if he is in fact a she, in the Spotted Hyena world, females are the dominant sex and the rock of their family clan.”

Keepers hope Jabali will be out and about with the clan in the next few weeks as the curious cub has already started to explore the tunnel leading to the main exhibit and had his first weigh in this week using the scales in the run.

A number of lucky visitors have also caught a close-up glimpse of the newest addition during Monarto Safari Park’s Lions at Bedtime experience.

Spotted Hyena have an extremely powerful jaw with their bite force stronger than a lion or tiger! And that laugh they’re so famous for? That sound is actually a noise they make when they’re nervous.

In the wild, populations of Spotted Hyena remain widespread, however sadly numbers are in decline due to habitat loss and persecution.

For more information about the Spotted Hyena clan at Monarto Safari Park, please visit

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

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