Meet our inquisitive hyaenas!
Who runs the world!? Girls! Well in the life of a Spotted Hyaena clan, this is certainly the case. Our beautiful Spotted Hyaena at Monarto Zoo live in a matriarchal hierarchy, meaning the girls rank higher than the boys.
We’re proud to have the largest clan of Spotted Hyaena in the country with four females and two males living together in our clan.
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. Kigali shares her home with her daughter Forest and her granddaughter Thandiwe, or Thandi for short.
Forest, born in 2007, has successfully given birth to three cubs, including one born through Australia’s first hyaena 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 gave birth again in January 2018 to a sweet boy named Majani, meaning ‘grasslands’.
Forest’s daughter, Thandi, was born in 2014 and is now a mother herself after giving birth to adorable twin cubs, male Jaali and female Kanzi, in 2017. The brother-sister duo are the offspring of much-loved male hyaena Piltengi, who sadly passed away later that year. Their connection to this special male inspired their names, with Jaali meaning ‘powerful’ and Kanzi meaning ‘treasure’. You can often see Jaali and Kanzi playing around with each other and exploring their exhibit together.
Our Spotted Hyaena clan are an inquisitive bunch and love different objects, scents and smells. Some of their favourites include finding dog biscuits that have been scattered around their exhibit, cracking open ostrich eggs to eat the yolk inside, crunching on turkey drumsticks and even rolling around in tinned cat food or pilchards placed in their habitat which they have a ball investigating.
While the Spotted Hyena remains widespread in Africa, sadly there is continuing decline in wild populations due to habitat loss and persecution.
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.