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First C-Section Delivery of a Hyena Pup In Australia's History

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Monarto Zoo's Spotted Hyena Mom Kigali and her daughter Forest both gave birth recently to healthy cubs. They are the only female Spotted Hyena in Australia. Kigali is the dominant female of the clan. Her cub, named Pinduli, was born back on June 12, shortly after 2:00 a.m.. She had him in a den on exhibit which meant no one had the opportunity to see him for around four months.  Keepers monitored Mom and baby via cameras set up in the den prior to the birth. Thanks to that,  you can watch Kigali giving birth on a video below his pictures.

Keepers chose the name Pinduli as it means 'brings a change of direction'.  This was fitting as he was the first cub to be born on exhibit with the clan. While keepers suspected Pinduli was male they had to wait until his six-month health check to confirm it, via a DNA sample. Pinduli has just made his public debut!

Pun side w mom

Pun solo
Photo Credit: Pinduli photos by David Mattner for Monarto Zoo

The second cub came into the world by the first ever Hyena caesarean performed in Australia on Kingali's daughter Forest. Hyena births are particularly complex, with first-time moms such as Forest having only a 20% chance of a successful outcome due to a quirk in their anatomy. Veterinarian Dr Jerome Kalvas said that with this in mind, when they saw no progress being made three hours into Forest's labor, it was clearly time to intervene.

“While the anesthetic and surgery went smoothly the cub was initially not breathing after delivery. We administered a respiratory stimulant and our veterinary nurses vigorously rubbed the cub until a small squeal and a strengthening heartbeat told us we were out of the woods,” Dr Kalvas said. “Then when the cub gave one of the vet nurses a little nip - Spotted Hyena cubs are born with a full set of teeth and open their eyes shortly after birth – we knew things were looking good!"




Forest and cub
Photo Credit: Forest and baby by Claire Geister

See more pictures of both cubs and learn the rest of the story below the fold:

Pinduli with mother, Kigali...

Pun w mom

Pun nose

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Forest undergoes c-section and we see her unnamed pup moments after delivery as well as during her debut on exhibit...




Forest and timid baby

Forest nurses

Senior Carnivore Zookeeper, Claire Geister, said hyena have a strict female led hierarchical structure within their clans; at Monarto Zoo Kigali is the dominant female so having her daughter Forest, the subordinate female, breed is a good sign for the group.

“While you often see subordinate females reproducing in the wild it’s quite rare in captivity, the birth of Forest’s cub is a sign of a well adjusted and happy brood,” Claire said. “Although she experienced a tumultuous birth Forest is proving to be a great mum, there’s always a risk that the cub could be rejected when we have to intervene so to see the pair bonding is an amazing achievement. Seeing Forest’s cub accepted by the clan is the best result any of us could have hoped for and just incredible when you consider everything it’s been through.”

For the first three weeks of its life Forest’s cub was housed in a separate den area where Mom would join it over night and zookeepers monitored the pair via security cameras. Introductions between the cub and clan went so well it is now a full time member of the group, so visitors may get the chance to spot Monarto’s newest addition as well.