Rock Hyrax

Rock Hyrax


Coasts of Africa and inland mountain regions


Tropical and sub-tropial regions in altitudes from 400 meters below sea level to mountainous regions 3,800 meters above sea level.


The hyrax has a muscular, massive short neck, a long and arched body, stubby legs and a tail that is not visible. They have large eyes, medium-sized ears and a truncated snout with a cleft in the upper lip. The coat is dense and consists of short underfur and long tactile guard hairs. Generally light gray or yellowish-brown to dark brown in color.

Rock Hyrax

The hyrax lives in colonies of up to 80 individuals in which several families may reside. Usually, one or more members keep watch and warn others of an approaching predator or potential predator with a loud warning cry. Most hyrax are active during the morning and bask in the sun until evening when they gather in groups to feed. Hyrax do not burrow; crevices and spaces in the rocks provide them with most of the shelter they need.


Mating season for the hyrax is generally during the spring season. Gestation can last from 6-8 months. 1-2 offspring are usually produced. Sexual maturity is attained at one year.

Interesting Facts:

One of the most amazing facts about this small mammal is that they are the closest living relatives of the elephant. This has been determined due to skeletal similarities.

Rock Hyrax
Did YOU Know?    
The hyrax is the closest living relative to the Elephant!
Rock Hyrax
Class: mammals
Order: Hyracoidea
Genus: Procaviidae
Species: procavia capensis
Length: 12-24 inches
Weight: 2-12 pounds
Average Lifespan: 5 years
Wild Diet: Fruits, vegetables, sometimes invertebrates
Predators: Leopards, wild dogs, eagles, pythons, and man
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Temperate Zone

Learn more about mammals or animals from Africa!
Or, cross-reference the two!