October 19, 2023

Two Hyena Cubs Born At Hattiesburg Zoo

Morgan Howard

Source: Hattiesburg Zoo; Baby hyenas born at zoo
The Hattiesburg Zoo announced that two hyena cubs were born Friday, October 13th at the Hattiesburg Zoo.
The mother is named Pili and the zoo said she is doing well and seems to be a very devoted mother.
“Pili was a wonderful mom to her first cub, Kito, and we were expecting her to immediately care for these cubs, which she has done,” said Kristen Moore, Animal Curator. “Pili is nursing the cubs and they are both eating well. It is still very early in the process, but we are very pleased with their bonding,” said Moore.
The zoo said that often hyena births are tricky both in the wild and the zoo. Having a successful birth is very exciting!
“We are just beyond excited that Pili has had another successful birth at the Hattiesburg Zoo,” said Jeremy Cumpton, Director of Conservation, Education and Wildlife.
Hattiesburg zoo said that Pili’s first cub Kito, was born at the Hattiesburg Zoo on October 17, 2022. The zoo said it is unusual to have a single cub, especially in a first litter, and that hyenas usually have 2-4 cubs with a 40% survival rate for each cub.
Kito will be relocated to the Rolling Hills Zoo in Kansas where he will eventually be a part of a breeding pair.
“Breeding hyenas is important to their conservation as they are highly endangered animals,” said Cumpton. “The Hattiesburg Zoo is proving to be a standout in hyena breeding in the Species Survival Program (SSP), and we are proud and thankful for our success thus far.”
The Hattiesburg Zoo had the only live hyena birth in North America in 2022.
Hattiesburg Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Julia MacGregor has performed an initial health assessment on each cub.
“There are many milestones ahead of us, but at this time both cubs registered healthy weight at 1.65 kg and 1.7 kg, which is a positive indicator of good health,” said MacGregor.
The zoo said they will not know the gender of the cubs for several months.
In an effort to keep the mother and cubs as calm and secure as possible during the days following the birth, the decision has been made to close the walkway shortcut from Asia to Africa during the remainder of October.
Access from Asia to Africa can be accessed by the original walkway, which takes visitors past the African Veldt, Fennec Fox habitat, and Petting Zoo.

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