October – a month of new arrivals

Grumeti · October 2016

One of our hyena clans has had some new arrivals – two tiny little cubs were seen for the first time during the month.

The gestation period for hyenas is approximately four months, with litter size varying from one to four. The cubs will only suckle from their mother, and are weaned at about a year. They will start eating meat as early as three months and joining in on hunts at just over a year.

Hours after being born, siblings of like sex will battle for dominance. The one that wins, normally the first born, will then keep the other sibling from nursing until it becomes weak and eventually dies. Because this occurs in the depths of the den, mothers are powerless to intervene; this sibling rivalry kills an estimated 25% of all hyenas in their first month.

October also seems to be the month when our resident ostriches hatch their eggs, as we have been seeing several pairs with their little chicks. The most we have counted has been 24 chicks with one pair.

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