These photos are of some beautiful Hyena Cubs that were rescued in Kenya in April 2011.
There are four types of Hyena and two are classified as threatened.
Here’s a link to an article at the Kenyan Wildlife Service’s website. http://www.kws.org/info/news/2011/5april2011.html
The trio of striped hyena cubs rescued nearly a month ago from Tsavo West, is soon expected to be transferred to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage after responding well to treatment and care by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) vet officers and animal caretakers.
The cubs (two female and one male), barely a few days old, were found abandoned by pupils at the Riata Primary School in Taveta. They were then later taken to the Taveta station before finally being transferred to the KWS headquarters.
Some interesting facts about Hyenas:
They are frequently mentioned in African folklore with many tales of Werehyenas and there are mythical tribes who were believed to be able to turn into Hyenas whenever they wanted.
Their body parts are often used in witchcraft !
Al-Doumairy was a fifth century Arabian writer who said that Hyenas were vampires who would hunt people down and suck their blood at night.
Arab folklore also contains stories about Hyenas hypnotising their victims with their eyes.
Laughing like a Hyena is a common expression as their vocalisation does sometimes sound very like a human laugh.
In terms of biological families (Phylum) they are closer to cats but physically (Morphology) they are closer to dogs.
They have exceptionally powerful jaws that have evolved to break through carcasses and bones.
Here is a video of some lion cubs, tiger cubs and baby hyenas. Very cute.
Here’s a lovely photo of a baby aardvark born in the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa Bay, Florida. He’ll probably grow up to be just over a metre long and could weigh up to 120lbs.
Other names for Aardvarks which are sometimes used:
The name Aardvark actually means “ground pig” or “earth pig” in Afrikaans. Aard meaning Earth and Vark meaning pig.
Their numbers were thought to be declining but this may be because they are very shy and so are not often seen. They are however very rare outside of Africa and there aren’t many in zoos around the world.
They spend much of their time underground in their burrows which can be up to 30 metres long so this could explain why they aren’t in many zoos.
Photo of a tiny cute baby pygmy hedgehog in a teacup.
I saw this photo of some baby African pygmy hedgehogs in a teacup and they were so lovely I did a bit of research to find out a bit more. They look like pretty ideal pets as they are very gentle, don’t need much room, are quite cheap to look after and above all are a little bit different. With only a few hundred in the UK it would certainly be something a bit different.
Here are some key facts:
They can cost around £190 in the UK. That’s around $250 US. Many breeders have long waiting lists.
Pygmy hedgehogs are around a quarter the size of standard hedgehogs
They love being handled
They are far more common in the US than the UK where they were first bred around 25 years ago
Chocolate brown is the most common colour but it’s also possible to get albino varieties
They live for about three to five years
A hedgehog’s body is covered in around 6,000 spikes (also called quills)
In some areas in the US you need a license to have a pet hedgehog but check with your local authorities
In the UK you don’t need a license for these domesticated hedgehogs but of course you can’t have a normal hedgehog as a pet. These are wild and endangered
This piglet looks like he’s having a lot of fun with some paints and sponges. I hope he got a good clean afterwards.
A few good pig facts:
Pigs are very social creatures.
Their society is based around the harem: a dominant male surrounded by groups called “sounders”, each made up of a sow and her litter or piglets.
They stay together as a family until the young come of age.
Sounders continually communicate through a variety of noises including grunts, squeaks and sniffs.
Pigs are very clean animals.
They are the only farm animals that make a separate sleeping area which they always keep very clean.
They only have a bad reputation because they sometimes don’t look very clean.
Pigs are also very intelligent.
Just like dogs they can be house trained and can be taught to do all sorts of tricks and to fetch and walk at heel in the same way that dogs are.
In the nineteenth century they used to dress up pigs in fancy waistcoats and get them to do tricks. They were known as learned pigs.
Here’s a video of a well trained pig.
For a bit more reading here’s an article on pigs in Wired from a while ago. They talk about a BBC documentary called “Move over Babe” which features two pigs called Hamlet and Omelette who were trained to play video games and who actually excelled at it.
Orangutans are one of our closest animal relatives and this tiny baby does look very human. We share 96.4% of our genetics with these amazing creatures who are classified as great apes. Just like us. The sound an orangutan makes is a longcall and if you want to know what that sounds like just click here.