ABQ Zoo's new hyena cubs warming up to their new parents
September 14, 2018 05:38 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Albuquerque Zoo has not one, but two new baby hyenas after 31 years.
“They’re about five weeks old and you can see them really starting to engage with their environment and be very mischievous and cute and do cute baby things,” said Erin Flynn, the zoo's mammal curator.
Havoc and Ruckus are the newest family members in the hyena clan. The twins were born on August 8, but their mom, Smilla, needed some help after 11 hours of labor.
Eventually, veterinarians had to perform a C-section.
“As the anesthesia wore off, we put the babies in with her, and as soon as she was able to work through that, she’s been a fabulous mom ever since,” she said. “It took her a little while to figure things out—how to pick up the babies, what to do and how to nurse. Then she’s just been beyond amazing ever since. So we’re really lucky.”
At three weeks old, the cubs were introduced to their father, Dubu, but they could not physically interact. On Tuesday, however, they finally got to play with him.
“The first day, they did about an hour together. The second day was an hour-and-a-half, and yesterday was shy of just two-and-a-half hours,” Flynn said on Friday.
Havoc and Ruckus enjoy spending time with their dad, but Dubu needs to follow Smilla’s instructions.
“The females are at the top, so it goes: dominant females, to the most submissive females, all the babies in the middle and then the dominant male to the submissive male,” Flynn said.
She added the twins are trying to build Dubu’s confidence to interact with the cubs and being around Smilla. That could take weeks to months, until the family is left unsupervised, but Flynn said she didn't believe it would take that long.
The gender of the cubs is unknown, but Flynn expects to find out soon after she receives the test results
Updated: September 14, 2018 05:38 PM
Created: September 14, 2018 04:48 PM
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