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Rough and tumble with Hyaena cubs…..

05 December 2014

We know they look more like pups but apparently the correct term is cubs when discussing baby Hyaenas.

We came across part of a very large clan near to the Bologonja River last week and were lucky enough to see two females warming up in the morning while their cubs wrestled out some early start energy.

Spotted Hyaena cubs develop their spots between two and three months of age like the little one in the middle below.

Before that they are a dark, chocolaty brown and extremely cute - like this little chap.

The size difference is far greater than the age gap, these two are only around three months apart.

They will chew on anything, even a cousins ear!

I've met more than one member of the Nomad team that has lost a boot or a flip flop having left them outside the tent while flycamping only to relocate them again, in tatters, outside a Hyaena den. They make the perfect chewing aid and assist in developing that massive jaw - one of the most powerful bite forces in the world.

The rough and tumble looks fairly harmless but, for Spotted Hyaenas, developing hierarchy begins very early. One of the few mammals that regularly exhibit siblicide (killing one`s brother or sister) this particularly occurs with twin females - as for them the stakes are higher, there will only be one matriachal position in the clan.

For this reason Spotted Hyaenas are born with a fully functioning set of teeth.

It was a brilliant sighting in the beginning of our morning drive, we watched them for over an hour.

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