What is naughty, chews on your feet and hides in bookshelves? Any guesses? None! Okay well let us try this one...
What is spotted, can crack through bones and cackles in the night? Well Done! A Spotted Hyena!
If you have not heard the stories by now or have not seen photos of our new baby then let me fill you in! One of our newest members at Moholoholo Rehab Centre is a baby spotted hyena!
He (we think) arrived here at the rehab only a few days old. Jet black with a mouth fill of teeth and curious, watchful eyes. This little parcel was sent to us from another rehab centre. Unable to identify at that age whether it was a male or female (as this is very difficult to do with baby hyenas) we could only hope for a more submissive male rather than a dominant female.
As the days crept by this curious creature became more and more active. We howl in laughter at its antics. As big and brave as they seem when they are adults they are as skitty and nervous when they are small. When caught by surprise we will catch a glimpse of a black streak dashing for cover giggling and chittering nervously. Once there he will edge back and forth trying to gather the courage to come out and investigate what you are all about.
Down at the house where he spends his nights if ever you are missing something, be it a shoe, a shirt, a pair of glasses... you need look no further than his latest den. The term ‘hoarding’ could only have been invented after surveying the way that hyenas decorate their living areas. Dragging items from far and wide to clutter around themselves in amongst their cosy beds.
During the day our little collector, spends his days up at the top section of the rehab, using the office as his base. When he is tired, his bed is hidden under a desk with a hidey hole box to creep into when he is not feeling very brave. In between naps he lopes around the office or rough and tumbles with Mitzy, the resident Maltese poodle. Now a word of warning! Never ever believe that your ankles are safe from this little snipper snapper! Born with a set of teeth he has a natural instinct to exercise and often it is the unsuspecting computer user that falls victim to these practice sessions.
Hyena proofing the office was a task on its own but soon sneaky passages to behind the desks were boarded up, chewable items placed out of reach and dark cosy corners in filing cupboards declared out of bounds! (Or so we thought.)
Every baby needs a name and this was given great consideration! Many alternatives were bandied around until finally the perfect fit was found. Luma... meaning “to bite.” A more appropriate name could not have been thought of! As he grows he is starting to lose his black coloured fur and it is being replaced with blonde splashes speckled with faint spots. Adventures down the path and into the open garages seem to become more attractive but at 2 ½ months old he never ventures very far from his “mom” or the safety of his hiding place.
We look forward to sharing more antics and updates with you about this character filled addition to the rehab!