The Zoo in Debrecen prospered with representatives of an exotic species that had never been held before, after a male South African rooster arrived from the Leipzig Zoo and then a female from Prague. The young newcomers have already taken possession of their joint show, where visitors can also view them. Although they met here for the first time, their acquaintance went smoothly and they get along well with each other, so the institution is confident in their future successful reproduction.
The South African roach (Hystrix africaeaustralis) is native to the southern savannas and forests of the continent. As the largest rodent on the continent, it consumes mainly plant parts, but has also been seen to chew on bones and animal carcasses. Dare to cultivate man-made areas, it also tarnishes crops, which is why they are considered pests in many places. He searches for his food alone at night, but lives strictly in monogamous pairs. The male and female together protect their area marked by odor traces and also raise their offspring together. When attacked, the South African roach first makes warning beeps, rings its hollow-tailed tail, and raises the pointed spikes covering its sides and back, which can ultimately cause serious injury to its attacker.
Due to excessive hunting in some places, the species is on the Red List of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It is a real rarity among Hungarian zoos, as it can only be found in Debrecen.
Dr. Gergely Sándor Nagy