Brevard Zoo’s animal care staff are celebrating the April 11 birth of two rock hyrax pups. Keepers named the male Gnocchi and female Hashbrown for their potato-like appearance. This is the first shared litter for mother Buffy and father Fangs. Gestation lasted six to eight months, a particularly long time for such a small animal.
The pups were born in a behind-the-scenes area and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future as the Zoo’s public-facing rock hyrax habitat was damaged by Hurricane Irma last fall.
These tiny mammals, which weigh roughly half a pound at birth, are found in dry habitats throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and use rock crevices and vegetation as shelter. They live in colonies with a dominant male and several females. Human hunting has led to population declines in some areas.
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