A few weeks ago we noticed Navajo, the oldest hyena in the Talek West clan, sitting in the same spot a couple of days in a row. Her last set of cubs were getting pretty old, so we suspected she might have new cubs hidden somewhere nearby. We began checking up on Navajo every morning and night, hoping to get a glimpse of the new cubs, being careful not to get too close and stress the dedicated mother.
After weeks of checking we finally caught a fleeting glimpse of the new cubs. They quickly dove back into the den hole when they spotted us. I did manage to snap a couple of photos of the tiny cubs.
Navajo's lineage is American presidents. Her previous cubs have included Washington, Jefferson, Harrison, Roosevelt, Hoover, Carter, Lincoln, Kennedy, Madison, Monroe, Nixon, and Clinton. We thought it was a very appropriate time for Navajo to have new set of cubs, since there will soon be a new U.S. president. The new cubs will be named Obama and Reagan. It appears Navajo has moved her little presidents from their natal den to the communal den already.
Hyenas spend their firsts few weeks of life at a den with only their siblings and mother. Then the mother moves them to a den with all of the other cubs from the clan, where they learn to interact with other hyenas and where they rank in hierarchy. Unfortunately, the communal den is currently situated deep in the bushes, so we may not get another picture of the cubs for a while.