Hyenas come to Franklin Park Zoo

Spotted hyenas joined the roster at Franklin Park Zoo last month.

Thika, age 15, and Kai, age 5, are settling in to their new home, the exhibit that was previously occupied by African painted dogs.

Because African painted dogs are pack animals, the decision was made to relocate Brahma, the lone African painted dog at Franklin Park Zoo, to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Brahma moved to his new home earlier this summer to be paired with a female for breeding.

“We are thrilled to share the news of these exciting additions to the animal family at Franklin Park Zoo. This is a species we have had under consideration to bring in for many years. Their arrival presents a great opportunity for us to educate visitors of all ages about the important role these animals play in healthy ecosystems,” Zoo New England President and CEO John Linehan said in a release.

The spotted hyenas arrived from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago last month.

Spotted hyenas are native to sub-Saharan Africa, excluding the Congo rainforest, southern Africa and Madagascar. In the wild, hyenas live in groups called clans, which are dominated by females. These clans will defend their territories against other clans. Spotted hyenas scent-mark the borders of their territory and try to have a centralized den situated on high ground.

Spotted hyenas are noted for their distinctive vocalizations used for communication. Vocalizations include cackles, howls, yells, whoops and other sounds that are inaudible to humans. Spotted hyenas also use body language and posturing to communicate with each other.

From press materials.

One of the hyenas now living at Franklin Park Zoo. (Photo Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

One of the hyenas now living at Franklin Park Zoo. (Photo Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

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