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Keepers at Houston Zoo Help Raise Orphaned Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 11, 2020 10:17 am

lesser hedgehog tenrecs houston

Photo Credit: Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo caregivers have stepped in to play mom for three lesser hedgehog tenrecs. The newborns were born on Tuesday June 16th at 11am through an emergency cesarean section.

Currently the genders of the baby lesser hedgehog tenrecs have not been determined. They weighed just 10g at birth. This weight has doubled since birth though.

This is the first litter for mum Ninerec and the first lesser hedgehog tenrecs to be born at Houston Zoo. Unfortunately keepers arrived on the morning of June 16th to find Ninerec was in labor but having trouble and it was determined that she would not give birth on her own.

lesser hedgehog tenrecs houston

Photo Credit: Houston Zoo

Vets prepared for an emergency cesarean and were able to successfully deliver the three young. While Ninerec appeared well following the surgery she did unfortunately pass away two days later.

Since then caregivers and vets have become parents to the newborn tenrecs. Currently they are fed every few hours with keepers ensuring they are eating enough to meet growth milestones.

At present the newborn lesser hedgehog tenrecs are enjoying life with their day mainly made up of napping and eating.

To ensure they thrive after their rough start in life the vets give them a daily check-up to ensure they are meeting their weight and measurement goals.

lesser hedgehog tenrecs houston

Photo Credit: Houston Zoo

The tenrecs will receive food from the keepers until they are a month old and can begin eating solid foods on their own. They will continue to receive care from the staff.

At the Houston Zoo their group of lesser hedgehog tenrecs lives behind the scenes and meet visitors as animal ambassadors during keeper talks and educational programs.

In the wild the lesser hedgehog tenrec can be found in southern Madagascar. They look similar to hedgehogs which gives rise to their name. These tenrecs can spend time on the ground but are also able climbers. Currently their wild population is stable but habitat loss is threatening many species in Madagascar.

Learn more about the Houston Zoo on their website – Houston Zoo

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