Causes of morbidity and mortality for various species of tenrecs have not been widely published, aside from several reports of neoplasia, and these data are crucial for advancing objectives for preventive medicine, diagnosis, and treatment. A survey on husbandry, morbidity, and mortality of lesser hedgehog tenrecs (Echinops telfairi) in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions was conducted. Out of 32 institutions, 20 responded with data for 98 living and 93 dead animals. The most common causes of mortality among the dead animals were neoplasia (24%), hepatic lipidosis (11%), septicemia (8.6%), pneumonia (8.6%), cardiomyopathy (7.5%), renal disease (6.5%), osteomyelitis (3.2%), and trauma (3.2%). There was no statistically significant correlation between sex and neoplasia. Data about educational usage were specifically provided by survey respondents for 50 of the tenrecs, with only 42% being excluded from educational programming. Tenrecs are common to many AZA institutions as both educational and exhibit animals, and this study provides a helpful reference for expected health problems and highlights the need for future investments into medical diagnosis and treatment for these animals.
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