Baby Tenrecs joy for Telford exotic zoo
These five adorable bundles are the latest addition to a Shropshire zoo.
The Exotic zoo in Donnington Wood in Telford is celebrating the surprise birth of five baby Madagascan Tenrecs.
The rare species are originally from the island of Madagascar, but the Exotic Zoo in Donnington was lucky to house two of the unusual animals last year.
Scott Adams, for the Exotic Zoo, said: "The male Tenrec came to Exotic Zoo about two years ago from another zoo. The hunt for a mate followed and a suitable female came to us at the end of last year. "Tenrecs are unusual and not found in many of UK zoos so it is even harder to breed. The newborns are our success story of the year."
The couple became a favourite of visitors to the centre and it was during a class that students noticed mum proudly walking out of her nest with not one but five baby Tenrecs following closely behind her.
The breeding success has seen lots of attention from other zoos across the UK and some of the babies will go to other collections later in the year.
For now the babies have settled well into their new home and Mr Adam is very proud of mum. He said: "The mother carries the babies for around 65 days and usually gives birth to three to six babies so we are very proud that she managed to care for five babies for her first time.
"The babies have amazed us how quick they have developed. By three weeks old they were following mum around eating insects and drinking water."
While a Madagascan Tenrec may look like a hedgehog they are not related at all. They have evolved to have the same protection as a hedgehog, their trade mark spikes, but that is it.
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