Monday 5 December 2016

New zoo 'shrew' makes its debut

Published 06/11/2015 | 18:21

A sengi - also known as a round-eared elephant shrew - has gone on show for the first time after being born at Chester Zoo in summer (Chester Zoo/PA)
A sengi - also known as a round-eared elephant shrew - has gone on show for the first time after being born at Chester Zoo in summer (Chester Zoo/PA)

It's only three months old and four-inches long but Chester Zoo's newest animal attraction is proving a big hit with visitors.

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The zoo welcomed the birth of a pair of sengi in summer, and one of the tiny shrews has now gone on show for the first time, delighting the crowds with its tiny trunk and propensity for yawning.

The two sengis, also known as round-eared elephant shrews, are now fully grown.

Zoo spokesman James Andrewes said: " They might look like a shrew but, fascinatingly, our new arrivals are in fact distantly related to manatees, aardvarks, hyraxes and elephants.

"In the past the species was commonly known as the elephant-shrew but many biologists are now referring to them as sengi so as not to confuse them with true shrews."

Sengi are native to Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and are found in a range of habitats including desert, forest and scrubland.

Press Association

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