A mother will do anything to protect her babies. Even if that mother is a hyena caught in a hunting trap and on the verge of death.
This hyena was walking along the Savé River in Zimbabwe when she got caught in a trap set by poachers. As a reaction to this trauma, she gave birth to three cubs on the spot. She was still trapped and in a tremendous amount of pain as hyena birth is very painful. Many mothers don’t even survive the process.
As she fought for her own life it was also her priority to protect her cubs. She dug a small den in the dirt right beside her to keep them safe. This is when the African Wildlife Conservation Fund arrived after having been tipped off about a wounded hyena in the area.
They tranquilized her and moved in to find a surprise – two cubs moving around in the dirt, only a few days old. Sadly, one cub had already passed before their arrival.
They removed her from the trap and noticed the wounds were not very deep. They gave her antibiotics and an IV to prevent dehydration. Here’s one of the cubs:
When the cubs were nudged toward their mother, they began to suckle. Incredible.
The rescuers then stepped back and watched as this miracle unfolded. They had this to say on their Facebook page:
“We swiftly moved away, and out of sight, so as not to alarm the hyena when she woke up. We watched from a distance and were elated when we saw the female back on her feet and acknowledging the pups! What we witnessed yesterday was testament to the resilience of wild animals.”
When they returned later they noticed that the mother had relocated to another den and took her cubs with her. All of them survived this near-fatal experience.
h/t – The Dodo