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ABQ BioPark Welcomes New Hyena Cubs, Says Goodbye to a Few Faces

Departures were part of Species Survival Plans.

May 7, 2020 - There are some new babies this spring at the ABQ BioPark Zoo. Spotted hyenas Smilla (11) and Dubu (17) welcomed their second set of cubs on April 30.

The cubs are doing well, according to their care staff. They are currently in the den with mother Smilla and will gradually be introduced to their habitat when they are older. They will meet Dubu when they are approximately one month old. Hyenas are born with their eyes open and are quite mobile, so Smilla is attentive and busy keeping the two in the nest box.

It is nearly impossible to visually determine the sex of young hyenas, so their sex will not be known until after their first veterinary exam, which is planned for mid-June.

The ABQ BioPark is one of the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos that has successfully bred spotted hyenas in the past two years.

“We are excited to welcome another pair of hyena cubs to the ABQ BioPark,” said Lynn Tupa, zoo manager. “As one of the only zoos to have had success breeding this species in the past few years, we are proud of our continued contribution to their Species Survival Plan (SSP).”

This is bittersweet timing, as the pair’s first set of cubs, Havoc and Ruckus, left for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo on May 3. The two were born in late 2018 and were the first hyena cubs born at the BioPark in more than three decades.

The ABQ BioPark also recently bid farewell to a few chimpanzee residents, who headed to other Association of Zoos and Aquariums facilities—Leia went to the Tulsa Zoo on February 20 while Kianga headed to the Little Rock Zoo on March 3.

According to staff at both zoos, Leia and Kianga are doing great and have made successful introductions with other members of their new chimpanzee troops.

Both departures were part of the chimpanzee SSP and the two female chimps reportedly bonded with their male counterparts right away.

The Zoo expects to receive one more female chimpanzee in the future, but a date is not yet set.​

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