This is the story of Crocuta continued.
At around 8/9 months old, Crocuta was still living in and around camp with us. At this point I did not allow her in our house anymore, but on the odd occasion she did come in, she was like a happy child. Jumping on couches and bookshelves and creating chaos.
It was getting to the point that I was scared when we have visitors or guests, that she would try to bite someone. There is in my opinion not something as a tame wild animal, only wild animals that have lost their natural fear of humans. Which is why were so hesitant to hand raise Crocuta in the first place.
We then decided to make sure Crocuta cannot have direct human interaction with guests anymore. She was moved to an enclosure that borders the camp. Bear in mind that she was born in captivity. The hyenas on the farm are kept in rather large camps in a way that visitors can enjoy their presence, but they cannot escape and kill livestock on neighbouring farms.
The day we moved her, I simply walked with her milk and she followed me unknowingly into her new home. It was much harder for me than it was for her. She accepted the situation after having her milk by sniffling out the area and going exploring in her new camp. I on the other hand, went to sit down and have a good cry. She was never going to be able to come to my house again in the mornings to come and say hello.
Her camp was bordered by a camp with a clan of hyenas on the one side and the other side was an empty camp. The enclosures in turn bordered the garden and main camp of the reserve where we were living. The fences were electrified so animals were not able to go through, under normal circumstances anyway, but that is another story.
We were planning to introduce other hyenas to Crocuta, but seeing that at this point she was still drinking milk we weren’t gonna do that for a while still. (Hyena cubs drink milk till one years of age or even longer) We were also scared of an adult hyena being able to kill Crocuta and introducing her, as a female, to another clan definitely did not seem to be a good idea either. In nature it is the males that would move to find or form new clans, but generally the females would stay in their maternal clan.
For months after that I visited Crocuta everyday. Sometimes when my guests were out or taking a siesta, I would spent an hour or more with her. Just chilling. She would sometimes come and snuggle up against me and generally we just enjoyed each others company. What a super special time for me. She seemed to still accept me and my husband as her clan and saying hello would often be a noisy affair.
When Crocuta was just over a year she finally really started eating meat. Before she would only roll in it for the most part. We started giving her things like Guinea fowl or Warthog or sometimes intestines and liver that is full of vitamins.
At this point in time I could also still clearly distinguish her call from the other clan’s calls and I would lie in bed and know it is her calling. Sometimes if my husband would speak outside at night, she would hear his voice and immediately start calling.
I will write part 4 on how we eventually introduced another hyena to her, so she could form her own clan.
If you haven’t read part 1 &2, you can find them here