MATTHEW BLAKE | MAILONLINE
Japanese zookeepers have abandoned their four-year-long attempt to persuade two spotted hyenas to mate... after they realised both animals were male.
Zoo abandons hyena breeding programme after realising they have spent four years trying to get two MALES to mate
- Maruyama Zoo, in Japan, bought them from South Korean zoo in 2010
- For past four years, they have been trying to get them to mate, without joy
- Finally they tested Kami, who they thought was female, to find male genitalia
- They say it's difficult to tell the sex of a spotted hyena by external genitalia
Experts at the Maruyama Zoo, in Sapporo, northern Japan, said they were told Kami and Kamutori were a 'male and female couple' by the South Korean zoo, in Daejon, who sold them the animals in 2010.
But after a year of waiting without joy, they finally tested Kami - who they thought was female - only to find she had male genitalia.
'We have attempted to house them together for breeding many times but they often fought against each other and never engaged themselves in breeding behaviour,' the zoo said in a statement.
Kami, now five years old, showed no estrus symptoms after reaching sexual maturity, prompting the zoo to put it and its six-year-old partner Kamutori to sex tests.'We have determined that the two animals are both male after conducting ultrasound imaging and hormone tests on them under anaesthesia,' the statement added.
The zoo explained that it is extremely difficult to determine the sex of a spotted hyena from the appearance of its external genitalia. 'We still plan to obtain a female spotted hyena for breeding with either Kami or Kamutori,' the statement said