10 Adorable Baby Hyena Facts

Because of movies like The Lion King, even baby hyenas don’t have the finest reputation among people who don’t know much about them. But the truth is, baby hyenas are quite different from mature adults.

Baby Hyenas are almost one pound when they’re born and look like brown bear cubs. They’re born in a communal den and learn to socialize with other cubs in the same place until they’re ready to go out and take on the world. 

Being the younger member of a group of “dominant females” who frequently put men to shame is difficult. To establish their authority over the rest of the clan at an early age, these scruffy puppies have to fight quite a battle. 

3 month old hyena cubs in South Africa

10 Surprising Facts About Hyena Babies

All hyena species are interesting, but we’ll focus mainly on the most common one. The sly, sociable spotted hyenas. 

If you’re an animal lover, the following are some strange facts about Hyena cubs that you don’t want to miss. 

Let’s dive right in.

1. Hyena Cubs Look Like Bear Cubs

Hyena cubs have an odd appearance. They don’t exactly resemble adult hyenas. They don’t resemble puppies, either. Some people argue that they resemble bear cubs.

There are four species of hyena; thus, the pups are all different colors, shapes, and sizes. Newborn spotted hyenas weigh about 1.5 kg

When they first emerge, they have velvety, brown, or black fur; however, as the weeks go by, they gradually change. They develop their adult spots, and their hair turns light brown.

Spotted hyena cub in the Netherlands

2. They’re Born In Communal Dens 

A hyena’s community den is where they spend much of their time. They’ll stay in a few of these dens for many years, while other clans will shift about a few times during the course of their existence.

These dens are impressive structures that are crucial to the socialization of the group.

The hyenas may be seen nursing their babies and sunbathing here. It’s not unusual to witness the den filled with up to twenty cubs.

Hyenas give birth in the den. This results in safety as they’re giving birth away from both predators and male hyenas, either in a private birthing chamber or the common den. 

Before leaving to meet the remainder of the clan, the hyenas spend quality time with their offspring in the discreet den.

3. Baby Hyenas Have Extremely Devoted Mothers

Out of all the carnivores, Hyenas are most devoted when they become mothers. You can say they didn’t go through the roughest birth-giving experience for nothing.

The longer the cub stays in its den, the greater its chances of survival. A babysitter-Hyena is always present whenever the mothers leave for hunting.  

4. Baby Hyenas Have The Strangest Laughs

An adult hyena’s laugh is easily recognizable, but the cub makes a different sound that’s even more strange. 

If you’ve ever experienced the incredibly horrible sound of nails grating against a chalkboard, you know what the cubs sound like. 

However, this sound grabs the mother’s attention so she can feed her cubs.

YOUNG HYENAS LAUGHING

5. Hyena Cubs Are Born Aggressive 

As soon as they’re born, cubs are ready to assert themselves and their presence on each other. 

These pups will start asserting dominance by attacking other cubs from the moment they’re born. 

6. They Have Neonatal Siblicide In Their Genes

Cubs fight and try to kill each other so they can get the most milk from their mother, and this phenomenon is even worse in same-sexed siblings. 

Almost 25% of all hyena cubs are killed in neonatal siblicide. 

7. Hyena Cubs are Highly Intelligent 

Hyena cubs learn quickly. The cubs show adult behavior at one-month-old. They can run for prolonged periods and are fast racers as adults. 

Hyena cubs can play with other cubs as early as ten days old.

Around one month old, the cubs will start to smell each other. This shows that they are approachable and eager to form bonds with other hyenas. 

They won’t be very amiable, though, since they will have already begun to mark their domain to make it clear who is in charge.

Spotted hyena cubs playing in the road

8. Baby Hyenas Have Good Appetites

The female hyena’s milk contains the greatest fat and protein percentage of terrestrial carnivore species. 

They can even hold 6–8 kg of milk at once. It seems reasonable that these animals could steal a lion’s supper.

For nearly a year, the cub’s mother will produce milk, but it won’t be their primary source of nourishment. 

The cubs are capable of digesting raw meat as early as five months. Even their moms don’t have to regurgitate it to them.

9. Brown Hyena Cubs Look Like Bats

The hyena cubs with stripes have small ears and adult features, but the brown hyena cub is the least clean-cut of the bunch. 

The brown hyena cub has a long, dense coat and large ears that resemble bats.

10. Cubs Socialize In The Den.

Like other animal species, males are not concerned with the upbringing of cubs.

The communal den is an opportunity for the cubs to become stronger and test out whatever fighting skills they have with other cubs.

This is also how these cubs learn to socialize and bond with the rest of the clan. 

Close up of hyena cub

Final Thoughts On Baby Hyenas

Hyena cubs are incredibly smart and sly and know how to assert power. They grow up fast and start joining their clans for hunting and preying. 

Their mothers’ devotion keeps them safe until they’re strong enough to fight for themselves. 

People usually don’t like hyena cubs, but they’re as cute as any other newborns and deserve the same kind of love.

FAQs

Is It Okay To Keep Hyena Cubs As Pets?

You can’t keep Hyena cubs as pets because they’re dangerous animals, and they grow up fast. Domesticating a hyena is generally impossible because it’ll require a lengthy process of selective breeding to change the animal’s genetics. Relative to mature adults, cubs might be tamed, but they’re still dangerous.

How Dangerous Are Hyenas?

Hyenas are dangerous animals, especially in packs, and can kill people if food is scarce. Children, women, and the ill are most vulnerable to being attacked and killed by hyenas.

How Long Do Hyena Cubs Stay Under Supervision? 

When hyena cubs reach one year of age, they no longer need a babysitter. They start participating in activities to learn from the clan’s females.