Meet our inquisitive hyenas!
Who runs the world!? Girls! Well in the life of a Spotted Hyena clan, this is certainly the case. Our seven beautiful Spotted Hyena at Monarto 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.
One of Kigali’s daughters, Forest, is now the leader of her own clan with hyena male Gamba. Forest has also bred successfully 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.
The second youngest member of the clan, Mkoko, was born on July 13 2015. Mkoko, meaning mangrove in Swahili, was named because his mother’s name is Forest, and as mangroves grow under forests, we thought this very befitting!
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.
Two adorable faces have joined Monarto Zoo’s Spotted Hyena clan, with the birth of twin cubs to first-time mum Thandi.
Born on 13 September 2017, the little cubs will act as ambassadors for their species, educating Australians about the plight of their cousins in the wild.
While the Spotted Hyena remains widespread in Africa, sadly there is continuing decline in wild populations due to habitat loss and persecution.
After spending the last few months in a private den with their doting mum, the cubs are now feeling brave enough to leave their night quarters and are busy delighting visitors as they explore their exhibit.
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.