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Gamba the Hyaena celebrates his 16th birthday

Hip hip hooray, it’s our hyaena’s special day!

Today, Adelaide Zoo keepers treated resident hyaena Gamba to some special enrichment to celebrate his 16th birthday.

To mark the special day, Gamba and his son Mkoko were presented with a birthday box filled with delicious chicken treats.

Adelaide Zoo Keeper Pij Olijnyk said thanks to their inquisitive nature, both Gamba and Mkoko were quick to devour the enrichment.

“Hyaenas are very intelligent and love to explore different objects, scents and smells so this birthday present was a welcomed treat,” Pij said.

“It certainly didn’t take long for the pair to tear through the box and eat all the tasty surprises inside!

“Hyaenas are often a misunderstood species, but in fact they are quite intelligent and have wonderful characters.

“Both Gamba and Mkoko are great ambassador animals for their cousins in the wild, and we hope visitors to Adelaide Zoo can look beyond stereotypes and see how special the species really is.”

Training programs, food puzzles and other forms of enrichment help mentally stimulate our animals and challenge them to use natural behaviours and instincts.

Our dedicated keepers incorporate varied and engaging enrichment programs into each of our animal’s daily routine.

Gamba and four-year-old son Mkoko were previously part of Monarto Zoo’s clan,but came to Adelaide Zoo in July 2018.


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

About Zoos SA

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

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.


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