Guests at Royal Madikwe in South Africa recently had the opportunity to watch three young spotted hyenas playing in the morning sun, giving them a chance to reflect on these fascinating creatures and find out more about them.
Did you know?
♦ There are three species of hyena: the spotted hyena, the brown hyena and the striped hyena. These little guys are spotted hyenas. Spotted hyenas are the largest known member of the Hyaenidae family and can easily be identified by their spotted fur, and a less prominent mane when compared to the brown hyenas.
♦ Female hyenas take up the alpha role and therefore the daughters will usually remain with their birth clan re-establishing this hierarchy.
♦ At first glance it can be tricky to distinguish the gender of a hyena. Although females are not hermaphrodites (they do not have both male and female sex organs), the external female genitalia is very similar to that of the male.
♦ Cubs are born with a black fur and as they grow so does their fur, turning a lighter colour with dark spots. These three busy bodies are of different ages as we can see the difference in the younger cub having darker fur and the older ones already have their spots.
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