Hartpury College

The latest news and views from Hartpury

Animal and Land 02Feb 2016

A case of mistaken identity for Madagascan Morris as new species makes Hartpury its home

A case of mistaken identity for Madagascan Morris as new species makes Hartpury its home

Looks can be deceiving and, at first glance, you’d hedge your bets that Hartpury has welcomed a hedgehog to join its ever-growing animal collection.

But the college has actually opened its doors to a lesser known species all the way from the African island of Madagascar with Morris, the lesser hedgehog tenrec, settling in well to his new Hartpury home.

Although the two-year-old may look like a hedgehog, the tenrec can resemble a wide variety of mammals, including hedgehogs, shrews, opossums, mice and even otters.

Isolated from many other would-be mammalian competitors in Madagascar for millions of years, the tenrec evolved into many different species as it adapted to its niche habitat to thrive, and survive, in its environment.

And Morris is now getting used to his new surroundings with Hartpury students playing a key role in its care and nurturing its development. 

Emma Bain, Hartpury’s Animal Management Unit Technician, said: “It’s true that the tenrec’s defence mechanisms of coiling into a ball and raising their spikes are extremely similar to that of a hedgehog.

“They are also primarily nocturnal and, due to their poor eyesight, they depend on their incredible sense of smell to locate food.

“We have created a brand new vivarium for Morris, which has space for him to climb and take sand baths, which he will love.

“Tenrecs are not shy creatures so Morris makes a great addition to the unit as he does not mind being handled. He will prove useful for the ecology, conservation and handling units that our students study here at Hartpury.

“Plus he shows students that the animal kingdom can throw you a few curve balls!”

09 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Hearths of Hartpury villagers will keep burning bright thanks to student firewood delivery

Hartpury students put their wood-chopping skills to good use and delivered dozens of bags of firewood to the Hartpury village community in time for Christmas.

09 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Creature comforts just in time for Christmas!

Everyone spruces up their home ready to welcome Christmas guests and now some of Hartpury’s animal residents have received the gift of a festive makeover!

08 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Hartpury’s unique deer herd sees students get hands on with Rudolph and company!

Most of Hartpury’s agriculture students are used to handling lambs and calves but a new initiative at the college – the only one of its kind in the country – is seeing them get hands on with a herd of deer, with Rudolph leading the way!

06 Dec 2016 Animal and Land

Hartpury’s farming entrepreneurs banking on budding business ideas

Our third year agriculture students got the opportunity to expand their entrepreneurial experience when advisors from NatWest visited Hartpury.