Animal Facts

  • Genus:

  • Species:

    Crocuta crocuta
  • Conservation

    Least Concern
  • Found In:

  • Length:

  • Height:

  • Weight:

    Approx 65kg

Meet our inquisitive hyenas!

Who runs the world!? Girls! Well in the life of a Spotted Hyena clan, this is certainly the case. Our six beautiful Spotted Hyena at Monarto Zoo live in a matriarchal hierarchy, meaning the girls rank higher than the boys.

Kigali, our eldest female, was born in the wild in Kruger National Park in 1997. Since arriving at Monarto in 2007 Kigali has given birth to five cubs. She is our highest ranked dominant female and lives with her granddaughter Thandiwe. Thandiwe, or Thandi for short, is a mother herself after giving birth to adorable twin cubs Jaali and Kanzi. Born on 13 September 2017, the little hyenas will act as ambassadors for their species, educating Australians about the plight of their cousins in the wild.

One of Kigali’s daughters, Forest, is now the leader of her own clan after giving birth to two 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. Forest welcomed her second cub at the start of 2018 – a little boy named Majani, meaning ‘grasslands’ in Swahili. Majani is growing fast and loves racing around his exhibit and getting messy with his favourite enrichment items.

Our Spotted Hyena clan are an inquisitive bunch and love different objects, scents and smells. Some of their favourites include finding scattered dog biscuits around their exhibit, cracking open an ostrich egg to eat the yolk inside, crunching on turkey drumsticks and even rolling around in tinned cat food or pilchards placed in their habitat.

The Spotted Hyena 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. Hyenas 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.

Hyenas live in complex matriarchal family structures called a clan which can grow to include up to 80 individuals.

Love hyena? Join our clan and ensure hyenas stay a stride ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these inquisitive creatures. 

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A huge thank you to our partners at The Orangutan Project (@hmxt0) and our incredible zoo family for helping ensure…

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

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