Israel Defense Forces reservists in the central West Bank recently rescued an injured striped hyena cub, which is expected to make a full recovery and be released back into the wild after receiving care at an animal hospital.
Earlier this month, the troops were on a routine patrol when they saw the wounded animal lying in the road, the Walla news site reported Tuesday.
They brought it back to their base and contacted the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, which took the cub to the Ramat Gan Safari’s hospital for wild animals.
There, it was treated for fractures in its pelvis and front right leg.
Dr. Matan Or, a veterinary orthopedist who operated on the cub, explained that due to the heavy loads typically carried by striped hyenas, implants were placed in the animal’s leg to further stabilize it. The animal’s pelvis was injured but also stable.
“We decided to follow up on the pelvis rather than operate on it at this time,” Or told Walla.
Reinforced casts were applied to the hyena’s fractures, to prevent it from breaking the plaster with its typically powerful jaws.
Currently, the animal is in rehab, where it was observed carrying weight and walking on its hind legs, indications of its recovery.
When it is fully recovered, the animal will be released back into the wild.
Acclimating to its natural habitat will be no mean feat for the wounded cub: At its young age, it should still be with its mother, learning basic survival skills.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Earth’s striped hyena population numbers some 10,000. In the Middle East, striped hyenas are considered critically endangered.