Week’s Quirkiest Animal: The Elephant Shrew | African Safaris
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This Week’s Quirkiest Animal: The Elephant Shrew

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elephant-shrew

These elephant shrew are native to Africa and are closely related to elephants. They can be found almost anywhere, from the Namib desert to dense forests in Africa.

Elephant shrews are small, and look like rodents with elongated snouts (like elephants) and long legs for their size. They tend to hop around like rabbits and have fuzzy fur. They are unfortunately difficult to spot as they camouflage themselves well and are fast on their feet. They also make pathways through the undergrowth, where they can hide while they hunt for insects.

Elephant shrews also mate for life and mark their territory with scent glands. The male and female shrews drive off any competition by screaming, sparring, snapping and kicking their feet, sending their opponent tumbling to the floor. Although they mate for life, they do not necessarily spend their time together, but do protect each other and their offspring.

They eat a variety of bugs and grubs like millipedes, worms, beetles, ants and termites and are preyed upon by birds of prey and snakes.

The golden-rumped elephant shrews are becoming endangered as their habitats are becoming fractured, and they are finding it hard to find their mates and claim their territory.

Image courtesy of Environmental graffiti

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