Hyenas not laughing over check-up

They may not be the kings of the jungle but the health of Perth Zoo's hyenas is no laughing matter.

Spotted hyenas Kigana and Sabi were brought in for their regular check-up at the zoo's veterinary hospital yesterday.

The 60kg animals went under anaesthetic in their enclosure before they were moved to the hospital. Senior veterinarian Simone Vitali said the checks took about two to three hours.

"Being carnivores, hyenas are hard on their teeth, so we need to check them regularly," Dr Vitali said. "We check their eyes, ears and teeth and carry out X-rays and blood tests."

The need for the check-ups was shown when the vets opened Kigana's mouth and found one of the 13-year-old's teeth needed to be removed.

Despite this, both animals are expected to receive a clean bill of health.

As the biggest of the species, spotted hyenas make a lot of kills for their food. They live in clans of up to 100 animals.

Hunting in packs, they also steal kills off lions and cheetahs.

The West Australian

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