A proud spotted hyena mum has shown off her adorable newborn cub for the first time at her zoo enclosure.
The solo dark-coloured cub is just over a week old in footage released by Zurich Zoo, in Switzerland, as it bonds with its five-year-old mother Tesi.
In the footage, mum Tesi looks exhausted as she flops down on her side in a rocky shelter, right on top of her cub.
The youngster struggles free and then snuggles up to mum, who gets up and walks off.
The confused cub then pipes up with a heartbroken wail which brings mum running to snatch it up in her mouth and walk off.
Keepers said the youngster was born on 13th September at the Lewa Savannah enclosure.
Stillbirths are common in hyenas due to their so-called pseudo-penises which cubs are born through.
Zurich zoo explained in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The origin and purpose of this special organ are not yet fully understood.
“With inexperienced mothers like Tesi, there is a risk that the cub will not survive.”
But zookeepers were thrilled that the newborn has survived and is now happily getting to know the environment.
Meanwhile its eight-year-old father Masangao is expected to be reunited with the family after he was kept separated from other hyenas.
In the wilderness young hyenas usually spend the first two to five weeks after their birth in a separate den and away from the group.
After the fifth week, they move together with up to thirty young other females where they remain until the age of eight to twelve months.
They are only then accepted by the group after they are strong enough to follow the mature hyenas on forays.
Spotted hyenas (also known as laughing hyenas) are listed as of least concern by the IUCN due to their widespread range and large numbers estimated between 27,000 and 47,000 individuals.
These figures are however expected to reduce due to habitat loss and poaching outside of protected areas in their native Africa.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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