Juno, the hyena, ready for her next step

2013-12-19 16:57
Juno the rescued hyena. (Supplied, NSPCA)

Juno the rescued hyena. (Supplied, NSPCA)

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Hyena captured in Joburg

2013-09-26 14:30

EWN filed this extraordinary footage of a hyena that was on the loose in Johannesburg. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Juno, the brown hyena who was rescued in Blairgowrie, Johannesburg, in September, is one step closer to her return to the wild after she was moved to a pre-release boma at a wildlife reserve in the North West Province this week, the NSPCA said on Thursday.

"The young hyena has responded well to treatment and has fully recovered from her injuries, which included damaged foot pads caused by running on paved roads outside of her natural environment."

It is believed that Juno had become separated from her clan and accidentally wandered into a built-up area.

Attempts were made to locate her family since her capture, but due to all the attention, the clan had moved its den site and could not be located.

"It was therefore decided that it would be better for her to go into a safe environment on a reserve with other brown hyenas", said the NSPCA.

Juno has been recuperating at the Johannesburg Zoo.  

The Urban Hyena Research Project will help monitor Juno after her release into the wild. The project is also aimed at helping other wild hyenas that inadvertently wander into urban areas and need protection from the public or assistance to find their way home.

"The pre-release boma is an ideal setting for the hyena, and will help to prepare her for a permanent home back in the wild, when she is ready."

The additional time to rest, grow, adjust and acclimatise to the new environment will help her to increase her chances of survival upon her release.

Despite the past few months spent in captivity, Juno retained her fear of humans and was treated for minor scratches picked up during the capture and relocation.

“The reserve is a typical habitat for a hyena; it is in a natural environment, familiar terrain, filled with smells and sounds from the wild.

"She will be able to see other wild animals through the fence but she will remain safe from threats until she is big enough for release,” says Isabel Wentzel of the Wildlife Protection Unit at the NSPCA.

“She will also be under constant monitoring remotely, so she will have minimal human contact, which is crucial to her success. Human contact and disturbance are extremely stressful for a wild animal.”

“We are happy that she will be released into the wild. She never settled in captivity and was very stressed around people.

"This will give her the opportunity to be back with her own kind in a safe environment. She settled right into her new temporary enclosure,” said Dr Katja Koeppel of the Johannesburg Zoo.

It is hoped that Juno will join another wild clan on her release, or start her own.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  animals

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