Chester Zoo ‘Overjoyed’ As They Celebrates The Birth Of Its First Ever Aardvark

Chester Zoo has welcomed a newborn aardvark for the first time in the zoo’s 90-year history. The staff found the newborn cuddling up to its mother, Oni. And his father Koos, who are all eight years old. This happened at night on January 4 right after she was born.

Zookeepers’ Devoted Care

Every evening, zookeepers dedicate a lot of their time to taking care of the little one. They fed the infant every few hours for roughly five weeks to help it build strength. It was born with huge floppy ears, hairless wrinkled skin, and giant claws.

The staff has named the baby, Dobby because of its likeness to the much-loved creature from Harry Potter.

Agricultural growth in sub-Saharan Africa is threatening the aardvark’s habitat, as well as bringing them into conflict with local farmers. They are also targeted for their meat supply.

South Africa’s Afrikaans language uses the term “earth pig” to describe an aardvark. Their long noses and excellent sense of smell help them find ants and termites, which they devour with a lengthy tongue up to 25cm long and coated in sticky saliva.

The animals break through termite mounds with their sharp claws and dig underground burrows to sleep in.

Aardvarks can be found in just 66 zoos in Europe and 109 zoos worldwide, making Chester one of the few places where you can see one.

Mark Brayshaw, Curator of Mammals at the zoo, added:

“Aardvarks are quite secretive creatures, which are mostly only ever active in darkness, and so some aspects of how they go about their lives remain relatively unknown. Caring for species like aardvarks in zoos enables us to learn more about them – how they live, their behaviors, and their biology.”

Chester Zoo 'Overjoyed' As They Celebrates The Birth Of Its First EverAardvark

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