They weigh solely round 10 grams and are the dimensions of a ping pong ball! Within the desert home in entrance of the gates of Zoo Vienna, there are offspring among the many short-eared elephant shrews. The twins had been found on the primary weekend in February. Nevertheless, the mom had saved them hidden within the nests within the thickets of vegetation for just a few days. In accordance with animal keeper Kristina Stanschitz, anybody who desires to see the tiny creatures ought to hurry up. “Adolescence in elephant shrews goes by in a short time. The younger animals are suckled, but in addition eat strong meals reminiscent of bugs, grains and fruit nearly from the beginning. On the age of 4 weeks they’re already as large as their dad and mom. In two to a few weeks they’ll turn into sexually mature and transfer to a backstage facility.”
Solely a yr in the past, a brand new elephant shrew feminine moved in from the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich. The enjoyment of the speedy breeding success is nice, as a result of elephant shrews are very choosy with regards to selecting a associate. At first look, short-eared elephant shrews seem like mice. However that’s misleading, as a result of they don’t belong to the rodents. Stanschitz: “Proboscis shrews type their very own order throughout the class of mammals. Arduous to imagine, however the closest relations of those animals, which may be as much as 12 cm lengthy, are elephants and manatees.” Quick-eared elephant-shrews are native to the grasslands of South West Africa, together with the Namib Desert. In Schönbrunn they stay within the largest elephant shrew facility in Europe.
Twenty years in the past, the desert home in Schönbrunn Palace Park, reverse the palm home, was opened with the brand new idea of a 2,000 sq. meter genuine desert habitat. Since then it has been operated by the Tiergarten and the Austrian Federal Gardens collectively within the ARGE Wüstenhaus. The elephant shrews have a tough time with the gardeners. “Snout shrews create mounted paths and maintain them meticulously clear. Within the wild, fleeing from birds of prey and snakes, they’re of their hiding locations in a flash. Every time the gardening crew waters the vegetation of their facility and creates a large number of their path, they’re busy cleansing all the pieces up rapidly.”
Pictures: Daniel Zupanc
Video: Zoo Vienna