Names and a health check for Monarto Safari Park’s Spotted Hyenas
It’s been a big few weeks for Monarto Safari Park’s Spotted Hyena clan, with two very special names chosen and a health check for five-year old male Mkoko.
Last week, Monarto Safari Park keepers enlisted the help of the public to name our five-month-old hyena twins.
Over 900 people cast their votes and the results are in… introducing Fahari and Mahali!
Fahari meaning “magnificence” and Mahali meaning “place” in Swahili are the perfect names for these two trouble-makers, who have been busy keeping mum Forrest and dad Gamba on their toes!
The two cuties were only recently revealed to be female due to their species’ unique genitalia which is almost impossible to differentiate between male and female by sight, thus needing DNA test results as confirmation all the way from Europe.
Two females like Fahari and Mahali are fantastic additions to both our clan and the regional breeding program working to safeguard their species into the future.
In other hyena news, young male Mkoko had a visit with the vet for a general health check.
While Mkoko was under general anaesthetic, the vet team took blood samples, checked his dental health and gave him an overall physical exam.
They also checked his ears for grass seeds – something any dog and cat owners in rural areas would be familiar with!
We’re pleased to report that Mkoko was given a clean bill of health and was quickly returned to the rest of the clan.
Mkoko was also given a temporary contraceptive implant as he is closely related to the females in his clan and, as such, keepers don’t want any breeding occurring.
The contraceptive is widely used among pet dogs, is reversible and wears off after about 12 months.
Ensuring strong genetics within the regions’ hyenas is a key part of making sure the species is around for generations to come.
The Spotted Hyena is found in most habitats across Africa but their numbers are sadly declining due to persecution by humans through culling, trapping and poisoning, often as retaliation of livestock loss.
As apex predators, hyenas make up a very important part of the ecosystems they live in by helping to maintain balanced herbivore populations, another reason why we must protect these fascinating animals into the future.
Visitors to Monarto Safari Park will be able to spot our hyena clan from the free Zu-Loop bus tours, as well as part of the Lions at Bedtime interactive experience.
www.monartosafari.com.au for more details.