Everdeen the Lesser Tenrec

(Echinops telfairi)


When Was She Born? Summer 2013


What Does She Eat? She is an insectivore but her species has been known to occasionally eat meat.


Where Does She Live? Madagascar


Here’s An Awesome Fact! Although they appear to look like hedgehogs, tenrecs are actually a completely different animal. Through convergent evolution these unique animals have evolved on the isolated island of Madagascar to be similar to hedgehogs without actually being related to them. In fact they are more closely related to elephants than hedgehogs.

Depending on the time of year, Everdeen is a very different animal. In the spring and summer months she is incredibly active and acrobatic. We often do feeding demonstrations with her and this is always a hit with children and adults alike. In the autumn and winter months she goes into a state of brumation, similar to hibernation. She is still awake for events during this time but is more likely to sit on your hands rather than run around. She is an incredibly friendly individual and has been handled by people of all ages, including children as young as three. Her spines give her an intimidating appearance but when she is relaxed she is actually soft to the touch and perfectly fine to stroke.