Miracle Hyena Gives Birth To Cubs While Fighting To Stay Alive In Hunting Trap
A mother hyena will do anything to protect her babies -- even, in this case, when she's fighting for her own life.
A pregnant brown hyena was walking along the Savé River in Zimbabwe when she became caught in a hunting snare set by poachers. Reacting to the trauma, the hyena delivered three cubs on the spot -- but she was still stuck (it's worth noting that hyena birth is notoriously painful, and many mothers don't even make it through the experience).
Despite fighting for her own life, the mother's instinct was still to protect her babies, so she dug a small den under herself to keep them safe. This was when rescuers from the African Wildlife Conservation Fund came across her, having been tipped off of a wounded hyena in the area. They darted her with a tranquilizer and approached to find a surprise -- two cubs squirming around in the dirt, just a few days old (sadly, one of the cubs had died before they arrived).
Immediately, the workers removed the snare, treated the mother's wounds (which, luckily, weren't deep) and gave her antibiotics and an IV to stave off dehydration.
One of the cubs:
They nugded the pups toward their mother and, stunningly, they began to suckle.
Photos via African Wildlife Conservation Fund
The rescuers moved away to watch an incredible moment in mothering history. They wrote on their Facebook page:
We swiftly moved away, and out of sight, so as not to alarm the hyaena when she woke up. We watched from a distance and were elated when we saw the female back on her feet and acknowledging the pups! What we witnessed yesterday was testament to the resilience of wild animals.
The team returned later to find that the dedicated mother had moved along to another den, bringing her cubs along with her, all of them living through a near-fatal saga.