Black and rufous elephant shrews are small mammals. They are reddish-brown in their front half and their back half is black in color. These shrews have long proboscises and long tongues. They need to move rapidly and therefore their hindlimbs are much longer than their forelimbs.
Black and rufous elephant shrews are terrestrial and diurnal animals. They spend most of their time running from predators or using their good sense of hearing and smell to watch out for predators. Black and rufous elephant shrews are generally solitary creatures. Pairs do not interact often with one another. They are territorial but their home ranges may overlap. When foraging these shrews use their proboscises to dig insects from the soil and their tongues to lick them up. They typically build nests on the ground for shelter requiring dry leaf litter often at the base of trees.
Black and rufous elephant shrews live in monogamous pairs, defending hectare-sized territories. Each animal can make and maintain around 10 nests in one territory. The pair bond is weak and animals spend little time together. Females give birth to 1-2 babies. Females do not spend much time with their young. They visit them once a day for a brief nursing period.
Black and rufous elephant shrews' numbers are reportedly declining. These animals suffer from severe forest fragmentation and degradation from human expansion. Other threats include timber for woodcarving use, firewood, and charcoal production. Hunting for food is also a threat to this species.
According to IUCN, the Black and rufous elephant shrew is relatively common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.