Because look at it. Just. Look at it. Those lovable inky eyes. Those comically proportioned (yet somehow still adorable) legs. It's hard to imagine it could it be anything BUT an enchanted critter from a mystical woodland. But it is. It's a short-eared elephant shrew, recently born at the National Zoo in D.C., and it is very real. Via the squee-factory better known as ZooBorns:

Elephant Shrews are small insectivorous mammals whose name comes from their noses' resemblance to the trunk of an elephant. They are in fact more closely related to elephants than they are to shrews! Elephant Shrews are one of only a handful of monogamous mammals and are a model group for the study of monogamy.


"Small, insectivorous mammals," huh? We're still not convinced. As further evidence these things are enchanted, here's what some of them grow up to look like:

Like we said. Magical.

Top photo by Clyde Nishimura via ZooBorns; black and rufous elephant shrew via Wikimedia Commons