Please be advised we are currently operating under a COVID Management Plan. Some entry restrictions apply. Please visit SA Health Contact Tracing website here for the most up-to-date information regarding South Australians restrictions. We expect to reach our COVID-19 capacity during this period – please book date-specific tickets online here. On days when we are sold out, a number of tickets *might* become available as guests leave.
Mkoko Hyena Adelaide Zoo
Spotted Hyena Adelaide Zoo
Mkoko Adelaide Zoo

Animal Facts

  • Genus:

  • Species:

  • Conservation

    Least Concern

  • Found In:

  • Length:

    95cm - 1.6m
  • Height:

    70 - 90cm
  • Weight:

    Approx 65kg

Meet our inquisitive hyaenas!

Adelaide Zoo is home to two gorgeous Spotted Hyaenas.

Gamba was born at Singapore Zoological Gardens in 2003, and made the journey to Monarto Safari Park in 2007. He arrived, along with young male Mkoko, to Adelaide Zoo in July 2018. Mkoko was also previously part of the Monarto Safari Park clan after he was born there in July 2015. Mkoko, meaning mangrove in Swahili, was named because his mother’s name is Forest and mangroves are often found growing underneath forests!

Our hyaena boys are very inquisitive and love exploring different objects, scents and smells. Some of their favourite enrichment items and snacks include egg yolks and tinned cat food.

The Spotted Hyaena is found in most African habitats, with an estimated global population of between 27,000 and 47,000. These mighty carnivores live and adapt to a variety of habitats from open grasslands, dry semi-desert, forest areas and the acacia bush.

Although they appear similar to dogs with their rounded head and ears, blunt muzzle and thick, long neck, they’re actually more closely related to cats! This isn’t where the misconceptions stop. Hyaenas are unfortunately a misunderstood species, often portrayed simply as daft scavengers. In reality, they’re excellent hunters with a success rate of up to 95%, intelligent and have wonderful personalities.

Hyaenas live in complex matriarchal family structures called a clan which can grow to include up to 80 individuals.

Love hyaena? Join our clan and ensure hyaenas stay a stride ahead of extinction! There are many ways you can help support these inquisitive creatures. 

Get Involved

Adopt Donate Membership


Roll on July when Light Creatures at Adelaide Zoo starts as part of Illuminate Adelaide.

Discover More

Book a wild animal experience

Experience the thrill of hand feeding our Giant Pandas, mingling with our meerkats or feeding a hungry tiger their meaty lunch. Tweet Share +1...

Learn more

Life Membership

Share a lifetime of memorable moments with unlimited visits to Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park. Tweet Share +1 Share

View More

Annual Membership

Unlimited visits to Adelaide Zoo, Monarto Safari Park and most Australian zoos. Tweet Share +1 Share

View More

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with zoo news and sign up to our Zoo Times eNewsletter