Darıca Zoo celebrates new arrival
KOCAELİ – Anadolu AgencyThe Darıca Faruk Yalçın Zoo in the northwestern province of Kocaeli has welcomed a new guest from Italy, a striped female hyena.
With the new arrival on May 25, the number of species in the zoo has increased to 288.
The animal is the first striped hyena at a Turkish zoo, Darıca Zoo Director Yücel Yılmaz said, adding that a male hyena would arrive from Germany.
“Striped hyenas are unique to Turkey. Many of them were seen in Turkey in the past with motion-triggered cameras. They are almost extinct today because of the occupation of their habitat and unregulated hunting,” Yılmaz said.
Yılmaz said the difference between these hyenas and those in Africa were that they have stripes and live alone.
“They live up to 15-18 years. They are generally carnivorous but also eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. They don’t like hunting but generally eat carcasses. But when they need to, they hunt small animals like rodents and reptiles,” he said.
Yılmaz said they aimed to ensure the reproduction of hyenas to increase the animal’s numbers.
A name for the hyena will subsequently be determined through a poll on social media, the director said.
The hyena, which arrived at Atatürk Airport in a special cage before being transferred to Darıca, initially refused to exit into a special shelter at the center even though it had been prepared to resemble the animal’s natural habitat, which consists of rocks and forests.
“This is why we built the shelter using stone. This place is better than the habitats of other hyenas in European zoos. The animal has stress right now after a long journey, and this is why she did not come out of the cage,” Yılmaz said.