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Visitors buzzing with the arrival of cute rock hyrax pups at Chester Zoo

By Deborah Hardiman | Attractions | Published:

Visitors at Chester Zoo have been buzzing with delight following the arrival of these cute rock hyrax pups.

The newborn hyrax triplets at Chester Zoo

The triplets born to parents Daissie and Nungu are making their debut this summer.

The two female pups and their brother are thrilling visitors and staff alike with their antics after coming into the world on July 18.

The mini mammals each weighing no more than a banana at about 250 grams are the world’s most closely related animal to the elephant and share a surprising genetic link.

The newborn hyrax triplets at Chester Zoo

Similar to elephants the rock hyrax has two large incisor teeth which constantly grow like tiny tusks, while its skull structure and shape of its feet is also just like its bigger ancestor.

While small mammals usually have a short gestation period, rock hyrax pregnancies last for more than seven months. And when the pups are born they look like miniature adult hyrax with their eyes and ears open, and with the same furry coat.

As the name suggests they live in rocky terrain and are found in colonies of between two and 26 individuals across Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Hyrax feet are built for rock climbing with a moist, rubbery pad that provides a suction-cup effect to help it cling to rocks without slipping.

Rock hyrax triplets born at Chester Zoo to parents Daissie and Nungu

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They are sometimes referred to as ‘rock rabbits’ and conservation scientists believe they have their own language, using 20 different sounds to communicate.

The animals have a special eyelid to protect its from the sun and dust. A bulge in each iris acts as a built-in sun visor.

These amazing mammals have also helped scientists to discover more about the evolution of species in the animal kingdom.

The newborn hyrax triplets at Chester Zoo

The zoo says they pups have not been given names as yet.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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