Zoological District Resident (Jackson/Clay County MO) pricing is only $5 Adults, $4.50 Seniors, $4.00 children 3-11. Regular Pricing $11.50 Adults; $10.50 Seniors; $8.50 Children ages 3-11. 2 and under are free.
Located in Swope Park at 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Missouri. Just off I-435 and US-71 highway, the Zoo is easily accessible from any part of the metropolitan area. 816.513.5800
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The Kansas City Zoo’s commitment to global research continued with another trip to Namibia this spring to work with brown hyenas. In May of 2011 Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer, Director of Animal Health, traveled back to Namibia to help conduct research on the brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) near the coastal city of Luderitz, the home base of the Brown Hyena Research Project. In conjunction with Dr. Ingrid Weisel, coordinator and lead investigator for the project, four brown hyenas were caputrued. One female was pregnant, another was lactating, a subadult female, and a subadult male, each of which were fitted with GPS collars, assessed for overall health and eye exams. Ninehyenas have been studied over the past 3 years. Dr. Suedmeyer is now the research veterinarian for the project. The data collected helps the Namibian government determine the impact of diamond mining and human influence on brown hyena populations and behavior.
Brown hyenas are generally solitary, nocturnal animals, covering vast areas (up to 25 miles a night) in search of food, which is predominately carrion, but coastal populations rely on Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) young. In times of food scarcity, the hyena will eat Tsama and Gemsbok cucumbers. The brown hyena population is impacted by diamond mining, human encroachment, poaching, and vehicle collisions. In addition, competitors such as the spotted hyena and leopard may influence brown hyena populations and the black-backed jackal appears to be a constant nuisance to the hyena. .
Estimates put the entire population at 5,000- 8,000 individuals in Africa with possibly 800-1,200 in Namibia, a country famous for its “SkeletonCoast” due to the centuries-old accumulation of shipwrecks.
The hyenas appear as black shadows, eerily moving over the sand and rock in wary silence; appearing and disappearing at will. Dr. Suedmeyer and the other researchers continually evaluate and make adjustments for capturing hyenas. Darting was very successful with minor modifications and all hyenas recovered without incident. During the day, they hiked miles to document hyena spoor, find dens, and choose locations for darting. The terrain is rugged and often referred to as inhospitable, though it is home to fascinating animals, plants and insects, many of which are venomous!
Each hyena had a physical exam including body temperature and blood samples, pictures taken of their individualized stripes on the front limbs, hair and skin samples were removed for radioisotope and DNA analysis, dentition was evaluated and teeth were measured. In addition, each animal was monitored with pulse oximetry; a hand-held unit that documents oxygen saturation trends and heart rate. Respirations were constantly monitored. A full ophthalmic (eye) exam was performed including tonometry; which measures eye pressures, and tear tests were performed to document the amount of tears secreted over time. The drugs used gave us about 50 minutes of anesthesia, and each animal was reversed with another drug which allowed the hyena to fully awake within five minutes and released back to the wild. The data collected is allowing us to collate information for an overall health assessment of the Brown hyena in Namibia.
GPS data sets indicate several clans in this part of the country and Dr. Weisel is assessing how the clans maintain their boundary lines and why. Many more years of research are needed to answer these questions
Dr. Suedmeyer also traveled to Namibia in May of 2009 to conduct his first round of research. Your Kansas City Zoo’s commitment to global research is helping our understanding of these mythical creatures, a goal which will help conserve their populations!
The King is Here!
Visit Dumisani and his pride at the Kansas City Zoo.