Echinops telfairi (Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec)

Tenrecs Environment

Pet tenrecs can be kept in barred cages providing the bar spacing is suitable and these cages provide good climbing enrichment and space. It is easier to monitor the temperature in a vivarium, however, as they do need to be kept at 22℃-26℃ during the day. This temperature needs to be consistent, as sudden temperature drops can trigger torpor in the wrong season. A tube UVB bulb is a good addition to help with their calcium absorption since the D3 in the calcium powder needs UVB to be activated. 

Tenrecs need a decent amount of space to display natural behaviours, with a 4-foot vivarium being a good size for your pet tenrec. Tenrecs are excellent climbers and enjoy wooden logs and ropes, ladders, vines and fabric items.


They should have multiple nests and tubes that you will need to regularly clean. Tenrecs love hiding in spaces much smaller than you think they can fit into, so be careful of any gaps in your layout.

Cork tubes are loved by tenrecs, however, it is best to get larger sizes of these so you can check on your tenrec's health as needed as they can be reluctant to come out.


A wheel is essential for your tenrec, this needs to be a minimum of 9" in diameter. Wooden wheels will need frequent cleaning and as tenrecs do not chew, it is safe to offer them plastic ones. Unlike other pets, wire wheels are not considered to pose a danger to tenrecs.


Sandbaths are another essential item. Tenrecs love washing themselves in sandbaths which is fascinating to watch. This can be left in the cage, or offered once a week. If left in constantly, you will need to sieve the sand to remove faeces and clumps.


Tenrecs do enjoy burrowing, so a decent layer of a good quality substrate such as bedmax is important, with additional bedding offered for nest making.

Tenrecs can be litter trained, if you identify the corner they have chosen to toilet you can then place a litter pan in that area with some of their faeces in the litter pan.