HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Hattiesburg Zoo announced the birth of two hyena cubs, which were born on Friday, October 13.

Zoo officials said their mother, Pili, is doing well.

“Pili was a wonderful mom to her first cub, Kito, and we were expecting her to immediately care for these cubs, which she has done,” said Kristen Moore, Animal Curator. “Pili is nursing the cubs and they are both eating well.“

Pili’s first cub, Kito, was born at the Hattiesburg Zoo on October 17, 2022. It is unusual to have a single cub especially in a first litter. Hyenas usually bear litters of two to four cubs with only an approximate 40% survival rate.

The Hattiesburg Zoo announced in late September that Kito was being relocated to the Rolling Hills Zoo in Kansas where he will eventually be a part of a breeding pair.

Hattiesburg Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Julia MacGregor has performed an initial health assessment on each cub.

“There are many milestones ahead of us, but at this time both cubs registered healthy weight at 1.65 kg and 1.7 kg, which is a positive indicator of good health,” said MacGregor. The gender of the cubs will not be known for several months.

In an effort to keep the mother and cubs as calm and secure as possible during the days following the birth, the decision has been made to close the walkway shortcut from Asia to Africa during the remainder of October. Access from Asia to Africa can be accessed by the original walkway, which takes visitors past the African Veldt, Fennec Fox habitat and Petting Zoo.