The safari park has another primate, the first in the Czech Republic to breed maned hyenas


Only three zoos worldwide have so far managed to breed the hairiest and smallest hyena cubs with a height of around half a meter.

The cubs look healthy and unusually active. “We anticipated the birth and ensured complete peace in the immediate vicinity of the quarters. The female takes good care of the cubs,” explains zoologist Gabriela Linhart.

The birth of the young of an animal that is so extremely difficult to breed is a wonderful triumph

Director of Safari Park Přemysl Rabas

“Compared to the young of other beasts, hyenas are large, strong and well developed. Already on the fourth day after birth, one left the maternity ward. The mother soon brought him back,” adds the zoologist.

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One of the greatest achievements in history

Triumph is a litter of three puppies. Successful breeding will confirm the professionalism of the royal breeders. If successful, it will be one of the most important breeding successes in the nearly eighty-year history of the court zoo.

Photo: Helena Hubáčková, Novinky

Adult maned hyena

“The birth of the young of an animal that is so extremely difficult to breed is a wonderful triumph. Hyenas have so far reproduced in a handful of gardens,” points out the director of the Dvur Králové Safari Park, Přemysl Rabas.


Photo: Helena Hubáčková, Novinky

A mother with one of her cubs in the birthing shed

The maned hyenas were acquired by the Safari Park from a specialized breeding center in the Republic of South Africa (JAR) last May. South African breeders had to be personally guaranteed optimal breeding conditions by the director of the Rabas Royal Court Zoo.

“I was given the opportunity to participate in a preventive veterinary examination of the then newly born cubs, which we wanted to get for the Safari park. I personally guaranteed the quality of the facilities for these extraordinary animals,” explained Rabas.

“Getting maned hyenas was very challenging. The zoologist from Dvor Králové spent a few weeks’ internship in South Africa, during which she obtained all the necessary information,” he added.


Photo: Archive of the Specialized Breeding Center for Maned Hyenas in South Africa, News

Přemysl Rabas with hyenas in South Africa, which today form the basis of royal breeding

Food specialists

The difficulty of breeding maned hyenas lies in the narrow food specialization of these animals, which feed on only two types of termites. It is not at all easy to put together a menu for demanding animals that they would like. Hyenas are far from eating everything that breeders put under their noses.

The keepers of the Safari Park have put together a special menu tailored to each of the animals. Feed rations were composed of a combination of dried and fresh insects, granules or meat mixtures.

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“They were based on the documents of colleagues from the South African Republic as well as on their own experience with the breeding of other food-specialized animals,” Rabas revealed. Cockroaches, crickets and mealworms are the closest Czech insects to termites, for which hyenas have adapted bead-like teeth. “Enough protein is important,” Rabas noted.

The safari park will show off all the hyenas

Thanks to a pair of adults and three newly born cubs of maned hyenas, the Safari Park will present all representatives of the hyena family, along with spotted hyenas, spotted hyenas and brindle hyenas. “Such a collection has no parallel in the world,” added Safari park spokesman Michal Šťastný.

The hyenas from the South African litter found a home together with Dvor Králové in the Czech Republic at Zlín Zoo. Due to their food specialization, only ten zoos worldwide breed these beasts. Hyenas brought to the Czech Republic last year represent a return to domestic breeding after 65 years. One maned hyena was once briefly kept by the Prague Zoo.

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The article is in Czech


Tags: safari park primate Czech Republic breed maned hyenas


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