Sydney Zoo - Hyena Cub 7

Hyena Cub Born in Sydney First

January 4, 2024

In a historic moment, Sydney Zoo in Eastern Creek proudly announces the birth of Sydney’s first ever Spotted Hyena cub.

Born to first-time mother Mahali and father Etana, the adorable wobbly-legged bundle of joy has made its public debut, instantly capturing the hearts of zookeepers and guests. 

At just a few weeks old, the cub has formed a strong bond with mum. However, while sticking close, this little one is starting to show an adventurous and cheeky spirit, much like its father.

Exclusive CCTV footage captures the cub’s curiosity and keen interest in the camera, showcasing its playful and inquisitive nature.

Born with a dark brown coat, the cub is developing light markings iconic to adult Spotted Hyenas. But one of the most intriguing aspects is that the cub’s gender remains unknown. Determining the gender of hyenas is challenging, and a blood test in the coming weeks will unveil the mystery.

Timed perfectly for the summer school holidays, the adorable cub has made its public debut, and in the coming days will be introduced to its father, providing a unique opportunity for everyone to meet the new family at Sydney Zoo.

“We are overjoyed with the birth of Sydney’s first Spotted Hyena cub. Given the complexities of hyena reproductive anatomy, first-time hyena mothers face significant risks during birth, making Mahali’s successful delivery truly remarkable,” said Tim Bennett, Sydney Zoo Exotics Manager.

The Spotted Hyena, widespread in Africa, faces continued decline in wild populations due to habitat loss and persecution. Often misunderstood, hyenas are incredibly intelligent with remarkable social behaviours.

This precious new addition will play a big role in Sydney Zoo’s breeding program, contributing to the conservation and education of the African species.

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