Kovler Lion House is closed from June 24-28, including restrooms. The nearest restrooms are at Searle Visitor Center or Bird's Eye Bar & Grill.

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OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR & FREE

Location, Hours & Directions

OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR & FREE

Location, Hours & Directions

Lesser Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Echinops telfairi
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Afrosoricida
  • Range

    Southern Madagascar

  • Status

    Stable. However, like many Madagascar species, the ongoing destruction of forests for agriculture, charcoal, and cattle pasture poses a significant threat.

  • Habitat

    Both terrestrial (ground-dwelling) and arboreal (tree-dwelling), this species occupies savannas, forests and brush areas.

  • Niche

    This tenrec primarily eats insects, though it also gobbles fruit.

  • Life History

    Litters of as many as ten are delivered. These offspring become independent after about a month. Solitary creatures, tenrecs feed mainly at night. When food is scarce in winter, lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrecs hibernate.

  • Special Adaptations

    When threatened, lesser Madagascar tenrecs roll into balls to protect their soft underbellies. They will also lunge backward to drive their spines into their enemies. They go into torpor—a hibernation-like state that conserves energy—for three to five months during the cold season.

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