Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hyena cub darted after spreading panic in Johannesburg

South African animal welfare officers captured a six-month-old brown hyena cub on Thursday that had been roaming the northern Johannesburg suburbs creating panic. The animal had been spotted running around several leafy suburbs, before it was cornered and darted by veterinarians from the Johannesburg Zoo.

The cub was extremely stressed. After being sedated by a dart, the cub was put on a rehydration drip by veterinarian Brett Gardner. Her paws had been shredded by walking on tarred surfaces. Hyenas live on the outskirts of Johannesburg, according to zoologist Brian Kuhn. "[They] are for the most part nocturnal and come into the city to eat at night. "They are not dangerous. They are opportunistic and will eat almost anything - but not [pet] dogs."

Two hyenas were sighted in Roodepoort, on the West Rand. They are believed to be living in the Kloofendal area. Gardner heard reports from the Roodepoort SPCA that people had chased them. "People worsened the whole situation. The cub probably panicked and ran and got separated from her mother. She's been running for days. She almost pulled off her paws. If I had to bet on it, I would say she will make a good recovery but it will take about five weeks for the paws to heal."

YouTube link.

Katja Koeppel, the Johannesburg Zoo veterinarian who will nurse the youngster back to health, said she will be eating "chicken or beef, like on an airliner" while in quarantine. "We want to find her clan and release her back into the wild after her feet have healed and we have organised the permits," said Koeppel.

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