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Rock hyrax triplets – the closest relative to elephants – born at Chester Zoo

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Although small and furry in appearance, the pups share a surprising genetic link with their elephant ancestors.

A tiny trio of rock hyrax pups — the world’s closest-known relative to the elephant — have been born at Chester Zoo.

The triplets, a male and two females, weighed no more than a banana (250g) when they were born.

Similar to an elephant, they have two large incisor teeth which constantly grow like tiny tusks while their skull structure and the feet shape are the same as its elephant ancestor.

The hyrax lives in rocky terrain and can be found in colonies of between two and 26 individuals across Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Sometimes referred to as “rock rabbits”, conservation scientists believe they have their own language and communicate with 20 different sounds and tones.

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