August 24, 2016- We are excited to announce a baby spotted hyena has just been introduced to the park’s hyena group or clan at the Edge of Africa habitat.
TAMPA, Fla. (August 24, 2016) –Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay is excited to announce a baby spotted hyena has just been introduced to the park’s hyena group or clan at the Edge of Africa habitat. The 20-week-old male cub was born at the park on April 3, 2016, and is named “Mandazi” for his sweet personality after a traditional pastry found on the Swahili coast. The cub is healthy and being cared for by first-time mother, 8-year-old Taziki, who was also born at Busch Gardens. The 16-year-old sire, Makali, came to Busch Gardens in 2008 from The University of California Berkley’s Hyena Project which focused on behavioral research.
While hyenas are currently not endangered, their populations and habitats are shrinking in the wild due to issues like poaching, human conflict and habitat destruction. This latest birth is part of Busch Gardens’ partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The mission of the SSP program is to oversee the population management of select species within accredited zoos and aquariums, and to enhance conservation of this species in the wild.
Since 2008, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has supported the research and conservation of the spotted hyena and other African carnivores. Although thought by many to be scavengers, spotted hyenas are excellent hunters. In fact, hyenas are particularly efficient predators since they are capable of digesting bones, horns and even the teeth of their prey. Typically more successful at hunting than other African predators, hyenas often have their prey items stolen by lions, rather than the other way around.
Hyenas live in matriarchal social groups where females, weighing up to 165 pounds, are typically larger than the males. They are more closely related to a mongoose and cat than a dog. Like other African carnivores, hyenas are important for the health of hoofed animal populations by weeding out the weak and sick as prey to keep the balance between the herds and their food resources.
Guests can see the baby hyena in the Edge of Africa area of the park or on the Heart of Africa tour.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 28,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.
The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection of over 800 species of animals. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company. Visit www.seaworldentertainment.com for more.
About the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
A nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) private foundation, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and conservation education in the U.S. and countries around the world. The Fund provides an outlet for park visitors to help protect wildlife and, because SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ provides all administrative and development costs as well as staffing and infrastructure, commits 100 percent of donations to on-the-ground wildlife conservation efforts. Since its launch in 2003, the Fund has granted over $13 million to more than 1,000 projects in 60 countries.