#Nature Awareness 9/6/2013 - Tree Shrew. These small mammals, that inhabit the forests of Southeast Asia, are not exclusively arboreal and are not typically considered to be true shrews. In fact, they have some features that are associated with primates, such as a large brain case. Tree shrews spend much of their time above ground in trees and bushes. They seek prey with well developed senses of hearing, smell, and vision. The tree shrew is a skillful climber and runner. It knows where it’s going and what it wants. Symbolism: high intelligence, insight, uncovering hidden treasures, achieving goals, stepping outside of boundaries.