Dassie / Hyrax



About the Dassie:

The Dassie; also called the rock hyrax, rock badger, rock rabbit, iMbila (isiZulu), and Cape hyrax, is a medium-sized (+-4 kg) terrestrial and very sociable mammal, with short ears and tail.

The Dassie is found across Africa and the Middle East in habitats but they are restricted to areas where there is suitable habitat.

They typically live in groups of 10–80 animals, and forage as a group. They have been reported to use sentries: one or more animals take up position on a vantage point and issue alarm calls on the approach of predators.

The Dassie is not endangered, and in some areas is considered a minor pest. In Ethiopia, Israel and Jordan, it is a reservoir of the leishmaniasis parasite.

The Dassie Habitat:

Dassies only live where there are outcrops of rock such as rocky koppies [hillocks] or cliffs or piles of large rocks or boulders and where the right type of vegetation for their food is found.

Dassies build dwelling holes in any type of rock with suitable cavities such as sedimentary rocks and soil.

Dassies have a wide distribution range in Africa and the Middle East, and so their distribution is patchy. In South Africa, dassies occur from Cape Town to the northern-most borders of the country in areas where there are suitable habitats.

Taxidermy (Hunting Dassie):

Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity.

Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost.

Only the finest materials and 30 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.

Facts about the Dassie:

  • Despite the enormous difference in size between the two, research has claimed the dassie is the African elephant’s closest living relative.
  • The name, dassie, is derived from the Dutch word “das”, meaning badger.
  • Dassies' padded feet have glands that produce a secretion that keeps the feet permanently moist. This moisture helps them to quickly climb up very steep rocks and tree trunks and branches.
  • Hyraceum is the fossilised urine and faeces of dassies. This is dissolved in alcohol and used in perfumes and in traditional medicines. The going rate for hyraceum perfumes is as much as R1 000 for 50 ml. The hyraceum is also known as “dassiepis” and is used as a treatment for epilepsy and convulsions.