Kruger National Park

Small Five – Funny looking critter

Small Five: Elephant shrew

  • This funny looking critter is an elephant shrew- or jumping shrews –  and forms part of the small five. There is a total of 17 different recognised species and they were listed as ‘vulnerable’ in 1996 by IUCN.
  • The elephant shrew resembles a rodent and has a scaly tail, elongated snout and long legs that are used to hop like a rabbit. Their scientific name is “Rhynchocyon cirnei”.
  • Elephant shrews vary largely in size from about 10 cm to almost 30 cm (3.93701 to 12 inches). Their weight can differ between 5 and 500g (Up to 1 Pound).
  • Their lifespan is 2 to 4 years and gestation is less than 2 months.
  • The elephant shrew is an insectivore and is pray to many snakes and birds. Their habitat can range from dense forest to open plains and they are very seldom seen; so, if you do see one you sure are lucky!


Written by: Tersha van Staden