Monarto Safari Park’s little Spotted Hyaena cubs have had their first health check, with veterinary staff and keepers delighted to give them both a clean bill of health.
The eight-week-old cubs reside in an ‘off limits’ area of the park. The two were carefully removed from their den to be weighed, examined, vaccinated and microchipped.
Veterinarian Jerome Kalvas, who carried out the health check, said both cubs were looking good: “They are both in great condition, with healthy coats and teeth. The larger of the two cubs weighed in at just over 7kg while the slightly smaller one was 6.56kg.”
While Jerome examined the hyaenas’ genitalia, he explained that it is very difficult to determine the sex of hyaenas as both males and females look so similar. “We could possibly have a male and a female here,” he said, “to be one hundred per cent sure, we will send away a small skin biopsy for DNA testing.”
The cubs, who are still to develop their spotty coats, will play an important role in the future of the Spotted Hyaena species for the Australasian region. Both cubs were reunited with their parents after the health check.
Although the cubs are currently in an off-limits area, some visitors taking part in our Lions at Bedtime tour have been lucky enough to see them.
“Mum ‘Forest’, 13 years and Dad ‘Gamba’, 17 years are often seen carrying the young around in their mouths and bringing them out for people to see,” said Anna Bennett, Assistant Curator at Monarto Safari Park.
“During the day the cubs are usually sleeping but in the afternoon they tend to be up and about. When they’re playing they love to dig and chew. Footage captured overnight shows them to be very lively indeed.
“At the moment, the cubs are sustained through their mother’s milk which is high in energy and fat. They won’t have any meat until they are around 9-months-old.” finished Anna.
While the Spotted Hyaena is listed as of Least Concern by the IUCN, there is a continuing decline in populations due to persecution and habitat loss. As a conservation charity, Zoos SA continues to raise awareness of the plight of the Spotted Hyaena in the wild as well as educate and inspire others to help save species from extinction.
Although not guaranteed, visitors taking part in the Lions at Bedtime experience might get a chance to see the Spotted Hyaena cubs while on the tour. Find out more here: https://www.monartosafari.com.au/animal-experiences/lions-at-bedtime/
Please note, any members and visitors wishing to visit Monarto Safari Park must book tickets online. We are experiencing a high volume of visitors over the peak summer period and are saddened to have to turn away guests when we have sold out. We kindly ask visitors to plan ahead and book online. All revenue helps us to continue our conservation work.