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Have You Heard of a Hyrax? Or Heard a Hyrax?


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Most visitors to Kenya are thrilled with seeing the Big Five: Lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhino.  My daughter Hope loves warthogs, mainly because they’re so funny kneeling to eat.  I myself love hyraxes.

A hyrax is a small (think rabbit or guinea pig), furry mammal.  They live in colonies in Africa and Mediterranean countries.  There are bush, rock, and tree hyraxes.  Oddly, their closest relative is the elephant (teats between forelegs, long gestation).  An excellent resource, Watching Wildlife: East Africa, notes: “For such small animals they make some mighty noises, including high-pitched warning shrieks…tree hyraxes utter penetrating screams shortly after dark” (p. 238).

I spent a lot of time with my iPhone ready to hit record during dinner in the open air dining room of our safari camp.  I didn’t capture the full piercing screech but the attached \will give you an idea.  Guide Peter Liech is teasing granddaughter Jen that they screech right before they kill you! Click Hyrax3_7_08 12_36 PM

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