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Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Skunks, Squirrels, Bats, genets, civets etc.

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TexasYankee
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Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby TexasYankee » Tue May 19, 2015 1:10 pm

After the Virginia opossum, the mammal I'd most like to have as a pet is Procavia capensis--the rock hyrax. I have a list of things I'd like in pet animal. It checks all but one box on my "good pet" list and it has a neat bonus: it can imitate human speech.

Interesting list:
  1. Taxonomically unusual. While the vast majority of placental mammals are in the clade Boreoeutheria, hyraxes are in the clade Afrotheria.
  2. Social animal. Quite. As is the bush hyrax, which I'd also consider.
  3. Intelligent. The Rock hyrax has a complex social system, a complex system of vocalizations, and is seen as a smart animal in Jewish folklore. (Admittedly, owls are seen as smart in America folklore, so that's not necessarily the best guide.)
  4. Somewhat playful, but not too energetic. See this video.
  5. Adaptable to a wide range of habitats.
  6. Varied diet. The rock hyrax is omnivorous.
  7. Cute and cuddly.
  8. Small and non-aggressive.
  9. Kept successfully as a pet in its native range. Plenty of videos on YouTube of that, and one of a Czech guy with what appears to be a parent-raised animal.

The only thing it's missing from my list is that it's not native to the continental United States. (For some reason, I prefer native species to non-native ones.)

Hyraxes are also completely legal to import to the United States, and not controlled by CITES. However it appears that nobody has imported them for the purposes of breeding. When I look for hyraxes, I only find a couple of old ads for animals imported as adults. Some of the animals for sale are bush hyraxes, and I'd settle for a bush hyrax (I'd even give a tree hyrax a shot, despite them being non-solitary animals), but I'd want an animal that was socialized with humans from a young age. And alas, nobody in the US or even Europe seems to be selling hand-raised or baby hyraxes.

Does anybody know why this is? Have people tried breeding hyraxes and failed? Or is there just no demand? And if not, why is there no demand? Hyraxes are awesome, and totally adorable. Check out this video of a zoo animal riding a tortoise.
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue May 19, 2015 1:26 pm

They do but they have long gestations like elephants and only 2 young per time. Their waiting lists are years long so they don't advertise and tend to only go to USDA licensed homes.
TexasYankee
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby TexasYankee » Tue May 19, 2015 2:21 pm

Interesting, thanks. When I was trying to find out about hyraxes and their care requirements, I came across this, where a South African obtained two babies from a park ranger and claims that South African zoos are culling them due to overpopulation.

So when you talk about USDA I thought you couldn't get a USDA-licensed homes, are you talking breeders, exhibitors, or private pet keepers? I know that to get a class A or B license you need to actually be selling some animals, but it occurs to me that a class C license, being based on the number of animals, might not actually require any exhibition, if the breeders just care about quality of the animal's care.

Another question: I'd assumed that as a highly social animal, it would be a good idea to keep at least two. (I wouldn't keep two parrots of any species together because that tends to make both birds defensive, but with social mammals such as prairie dogs, sugar gliders, and mongooses it seems to be a requirement.) Considering the length of the waiting list, do you know if people who have pet hyraxes usually keep more than one, or if it's a good idea? (After all "is a mammal" is a fairly week heuristic for any sort of care requirement.)

Also, do you know of anybody who has hyraxes (or a hyrax) whom you could put me in touch with?
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue May 19, 2015 3:43 pm

Lisa is the breeder I know of. She sent the last litter of two out together so it probably is ideal to keep them in pairs.
https://www.facebook.com/lisascreatures ... 2066096400

You do need to exhibit to have the class C but you can just do a couple shows per year for free for you local school or library reading group or anything really. My inspector just checks my vet records and looks to see the animals are in good care and that I did some sort of "exhibiting" Mine counts their being in the media and they get the photos and videos in shows or papers and he counts that. So I haven't had to really go out an exhibit much but they might not all count that. I have done a small summer reading group the one day and a preschool too. Oh and sometimes people will pay to come and visit with Pua. I take them to the park and let them go on a walk with her.
naja-naja
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby naja-naja » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:30 am

i have seen them for sale once in the UK, only a pair of males though, no females.
1.4 burmese pythons
0.1 indian pythons
0.1 boa constrictors
1.1 macklott's pythons
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby Buggle » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:28 pm

TamanduaGirl wrote:Lisa is the breeder I know of. She sent the last litter of two out together so it probably is ideal to keep them in pairs.
https://www.facebook.com/lisascreatures ... 2066096400

You do need to exhibit to have the class C but you can just do a couple shows per year for free for you local school or library reading group or anything really. My inspector just checks my vet records and looks to see the animals are in good care and that I did some sort of "exhibiting" Mine counts their being in the media and they get the photos and videos in shows or papers and he counts that. So I haven't had to really go out an exhibit much but they might not all count that. I have done a small summer reading group the one day and a preschool too. Oh and sometimes people will pay to come and visit with Pua. I take them to the park and let them go on a walk with her.


Hi, I have a ton of questions about this USDA thing but for now, my sister is a children's librarian. If I wanted to have her present my animals (small animals like fennec fox, Asian palm civet, mara, porcupine, ect.), would she need a license to do this? I'm doing some research in thinking about getting a USDA, but do I need to do the exhibiting to acquire one? Or do I just get the license to hold the animals that will be used by whoever? Or maybe I could hold them while they are presented (I do NOT do public speaking :icon-frown: )
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:59 pm

You need the license because you own them and they are housed with you. Having someone else show your animals works fine. I'd love to but can't think of anyone I'd trust to handle them. Having her speak while you handle them would work great too and might be better as you can make sure of their care and that all USDA rules are followed.

I worked for a petting zoo and helped them show and care for their animals but the zoo was licensed, not me.
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby Buggle » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:33 am

Cool, so my sister told me her boss was concerned about proper licensing when asking about presenting some of my reptiles. Do you know if USDA is the only thing I would need? If there's a better forum to ask these questions let me know, thanks.
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Re: Why does no one breed hyraxes?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:42 pm

You don't need anything for reptiles unless your state requires something.

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