Echinops telfairi (Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec)

Torpor in Tenrecs

Torpor is natural part of a Tenrecs life and happens every season. This is also called brumation and will happen in the colder months, typically beginning Sept/Oct until Feb/March in the northern hemisphere. Torpor will still occur in captivity even if kept at a constant temperature and with a light cycle.

It is important to monitor your tenrecs weight before and during torpor - especially if it is their first one. Tenrecs weight can range very widely, with 110-200 being healthy depending on the animal.

As torpor begins, you will notice your tenrec eating and moving less. You are still fine to handle them during this time and when awaken by the warmth of your hands you may be able to encourage them to eat a small amount but it is not unusual for them to stop eating entirely for patches of this time. They will be moving slower and be far less active than during the summer months.

For those used to torpor being a danger in other exotics, torpor in tenrecs can be rather stressful to begin with. It is important however not to discourage them from entering this state, as it is not known how preventing them from this natural rhythm would impact on health and life expectancy.