Southern Tree Hyrax Facts

The southern tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax arboreus) or also known as the eastern tree dassie, eastern tree hyrax, southern tree dassie is a species of mammal in the family Procaviidae. The southern tree hyrax, though mainly found in the south central eastern side of Africa, is also found on Sibuya Game Reserve.

The southern tree hyrax has a guinea pig-like appearance. It has long, soft, grey-brown fur that covers the body, while the underside is paler. Hairs are lighter near their tips and the ears have a fringe of white hair. They weigh about 2.27 kg on average, and have an average length of 520 mm.

The tree hyrax lives in trees and is mostly nocturnal, as opposed to the rock hyrax which lives among rocks and is mainly diurnal. It occurs singly, in pairs or in small groups, favouring hollow trees and dense foliage. Though an extremely able climber, it is awkward on the ground and walks with some difficulty. Its extraordinary call, heard mainly at night, is a series of blood-curdling shrieks building up to a crescendo. These territorial calls are produced mainly by the males.

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