The first hyena cub to be born by caesarean section in Australia has gone on public display for the first time.

The spotted hyena cub was born six weeks ago and has now settled into Monarto Zoo east of Adelaide.

The cub's five-year-old mother Forest spent three days in labour before vets performed the operation.

Zookeeper Claire Geister says the cub was not breathing when it was delivered and vets feared the worst.

"Zookeepers, the vet, the nurses, all of us that were there, we were all on edge. We weren't expecting it to start breathing again to be honest after three days in labour," she said.

"We gave it some medication and it coughed and then it took its first breath and it was getting very strong very quickly after that."

Ms Geister says the hyena's unique anatomy makes births particularly complex, with only 20 per cent not hampered by complications.

"Hyena cubs, they're actually born with a full set of teeth and one of our vet nurses was opening up the cub's mouth to be able to give it some pure oxygen and it actually nipped down on her finger," she said.

"We knew then it was going to be a fighter."

Zookeepers have not yet given the cub a name because they are unsure whether it is male or female.

There are now two hyena cubs in the Monarto clan.