The San Diego Zoo’s original colony of 10 adult rock hyraxes (three males and seven females), was received in 1963 as a gift from South Africa’s Department of Nature Conservation.
A colony of rock hyraxes will be featured at the Zoo’s Africa Rocks when it opens in 2017, and some may be seen across from the Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey. Their exhibit here is expected to reopen in March after renovations in the area are completed. Come see these marvelous little critters and watch how they turn a rock into a home!
Rock hyraxes are not considered an endangered species and have become as common as our North American squirrels. As a result, they are considered pests in some areas, competing with farmers by eating freshly planted fields; and competing with cattle, sheep, and goats for grassy grazing sites. They are also hunted for their meat and soft fur, but so far their populations are stable. Mange, a skin disease, is lethal to hyraxes and can wipe out a whole colony. More research is needed to further understand these remarkable little mammals.
You can help us bring other species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe.