Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs
The lesser hedgehog tenrec is a small, nocturnal mammal native to Madagascar. While they are very similar in appearance to hedgehogs, they are a completely different animal. They are primarily solitary animals. They are omnivores. They enjoy a large variety of insects in their diet as well as some fruits. In captivity, diets also may include a high quality feline kibble, yogurt, boiled chicken, eggs, and even pinkies along with a variety of calcium dusted insects. Water should be provided in a bowl. They are escape artists. Their enclosures must be escape proof with narrow wire spacing or well ventilated vivarium style and climber friendly. A UVB basking light is important for captive tenrecs to help support calcium absorption. Sand, not dust, should be provided for bathing. Lesser hedgehog tenrecs spent approximately three to five cold months of the year in torpor. Torpor is a form of hibernation. During torpor their activity is reduced. They sleep a great deal, eat very little. As torpor ends, tenrecs become more lively and enter their mating season. Tenrecs, mainly males, excrete a white fluid from their eyes and nose. The milky fluid is used to mark territory. While both sexes can excrete the milky substance and both have scent glands, males have a more potent scent and excrete more often. Neither sex have externally distinguishable sex organs. While there are some appearance differences between males and females, a dna test must be used to confirm sex. Tenrecs also have relatively lower body temperature than other animals, therefore they often feel cool to the touch. While these very social, friendly animals may appeal to some exotic pet owners, it is important new owners do adequate research and preparation prior to acquiring a lesser hedgehog tenrec.