South Africa was one of the first countries in the world to allow the private ownership of wildlife species. For the management of any wildlife species, an understanding of its ecology, biology, and genetics is crucial. Genetic tools can elucidate problems and guide management decisions. This includes individual identification and parentage verification. The principles of parentage verification and genetic management have been applied in the livestock and game industry for several years. Breeders have proven that the combination of thorough record keeping and parentage verification can result in accurate pedigrees. This approach is also advised for predators, as the social structure and relatedness of individuals may not always be as clear as expected from observed field data.
Unistel Medical Laboratories provides DNA profile testing and parentage verification for lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyena and wild dogs. As well as gender determination for hyenas.