Aardvark Calf

A zoo in Cheshire, United Kingdom witnessed the birth of an aardvark calf in January 2022, for the first time in its 90-year history.

Highlights

  • It’s a girl aardvark, and they are “over the moon”.
  • Staff have named the aardvark ‘Dobby’ because wrinkled, hairless skin and dangling ears of the calf seemed to remind of Harry Potter character by that name.
  • She was born on January 4, 2022; however, zoo declared its gender recently.

Who Are Aardvarks?

The aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal. It is native to Africa. It is the only living species of Tubulidentata order. It has a long pig-like snout, used to sniff out food. It roams across most of the southern two-thirds of African continent. It avoids areas that are rocky. It is a nocturnal feeder, that subsists on ants and termites, digging out of their hills using its powerful legs and sharp claws. It also digs to create burrows to live and rear its young. Aardvarks are afrotheres, a clade that also includes elephants, hyraxes and manatees.

IUCN Status

The animal has been listed as “least concern” by the IUCN, even though its numbers are decreasing. Zoos across Europe only have 66 aardvarks. Their population in the wild is declining because of encroachment of their habitats by humans. They are also hunted for meat.

Features of the animal

Aardvarks are nocturnal animals. They use their long noses and keen sense of smell to sniff out termites and ants. They have a long tongue, up to 25 cm in length. It is covered in sticky saliva. They also have powerful claws that they use to dig underground burrows to sleep in or tear open termite mounds.

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