All about the hyrax


A little hyrax atop Mt. Kenya, photographed by Josski.  Photo public domain.


As our readers already know, our wildlife expert, Hawkins, is quickly educating us on the rich and varied wildlife of Kenya.  Hawkins studies at Noah’s Ark Academy in the northwest region of Kenya.  He is 13-years-old and is in the 8th standard (class). He joined Noah’s Ark in 2011.  He is part of an online tutoring program sponsored by the Invictus Institute.  In addition to English, Hawkins also speaks Swahili.   


A HYRAX is a warm-blooded animal that gives birth to anywhere from two to six babies. This little animal is mainly found in savanna grassland. It lives in caves, rocks and openings in huge trees. Although it lives in caves, it prefers open places and to be high up on rocks where it is able to see, or keep watch over, any approach of danger. It is mainly a herbivorous, or plant-eating, animal. 

     A hyrax is small, about the size of a cat, and brown in colour. It moves on four legs. On sensing danger, this animal can jump long distances and over high obstacles, especially over rocks, to escape attack.

     A hyrax does not attack people or other animals, but will always use its teeth to defend itself whenever it is caught. It calls its young ones and community members to quickly run away from danger. The hyrax makes a variety of sounds depending on the situation.  For example, to warn others of coming danger, hyraxes make different sounds depending on the seriousness of the situation. When actually caught by an enemy, it produces squealing and yelling sounds. But when expressing happiness or peace, it makes a different sound altogether. These animals also chat with each other in very interesting ways by producing some funny noises a little bit like laughter. The other hyraxes respond from their side by repeating the same sound in a similar manner. 

     There are many hyraxes where I live. I really enjoy the many different musical sounds they make when they exchange evening greetings and early mornings chats. I don’t like chasing them!  Whenever I come across one I just quietly enjoy him. Some people enjoy eating them, but I do not.  As you can see, I LOVE hyraxes!  LET’S PROTECT THEM!  —Hawkins  


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 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com