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Baby Hyenas Now at the Zoo

First-time parents Smilla and Dubu welcome twins.

Sept. 7, 2018 - The ABQ BioPark  recently welcomed two spotted hyena cubs to the Zoo clan.

The pair were born on August 8 to first-time parents: 10-year-old Smilla and 15-year-old Dubu. Because there is little difference in the appearance of male and female hyenas, the gender of the cubs will be unknown until a genetic test is performed in upcoming weeks.
 
"We are so very excited to welcome the first hyenas born at the BioPark in 31 years." said Erin Flynn, ABQ BioPark Mammal Curator. "This is a very smart, social, and charismatic species. Cubs are born covered in woolly black fur with open eyes, erupted teeth, and running around when they are just minutes old."

Since birth is more risky for first-time mother hyenas due to their unique anatomy, ABQ BioPark staff stayed on-site overnight to monitor her labor. When she didn't give birth on her own after 11 hours, staff determined that she needed to have a C-section and zoo vets were called in at 2:30 a.m. to perform the surgery. The cubs were placed with Smilla when she woke up from surgery. The BioPark is excited to share that Smilla quickly accepted the cubs and has been an attentive and excellent mother ever since.
 
The newest members of the hyena clan have been living behind the scenes to allow zoo staff to monitor their health and development as they acclimate to their environment. You may catch a glimpse of the cubs on exhibit as they begin to explore their outdoor habitat and as BioPark staff work to introduce father Dubu into the family full time.
 
Smilla came to the ABQ BioPark in 2016 as a companion and mate for Dubu who has lived at the BioPark since 2004. The pair were recommended to breed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Spotted Hyena Species Survival Plan. In the wild, human-wildlife conflict is the leading threat to hyenas, and the two new cubs are important to the continued health of the population in human care.  
 
Attention media: BioPark staff will be letting the cubs explore their habitat today (Sept. 7, 2018) at 2:30 p.m. We invite media to come to the hyena habitat in Africa to gather interviews and/or footage at this time.