Rock Hyrax

ZOO LOCATION: African Rift Valley

Diet: Grasses, leaves, herbs, fruits, insects, lizards and bird eggs.

Weight: 4 to 12 pounds

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Habitat/Range: Dry savanna to dense forests from sea level to 14,000 feet.

Characteristics: Their feet have soft moist pads on the bottom that are well suited for sticking to smooth surfaces as they climb. In addition, their brown, speckled fur helps them blend in well to their environment.

Behavior: For safety, rock hyrax will hide among boulders, rock outcropping and even squeeze themselves in the little nooks for shelter and protection.

An Elephant's Brother?: Though rock hyrax may look more closely related to guinea pigs or rabbits, hyrax are the closest living relatives of elephants. They have similar teeth, toes and skull structures to elephants. Two large front teeth even grow out to be tiny tusks, just like an elephant's.