San Diego Zoo welcomes first aardvark birth in almost 40 years

Long-eared, hairless cub has tripled her birth weight in only five weeks.

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The first aardvark cub born at the San Diego Zoo in almost four decades is doing well and developing quickly, wildlife specialists have said.

The female cub was born on May 10 and will nurse from her mother, Zola, for about six months, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said this week in announcing the birth.

“She is very active, and was using her sharp claws to dig like an adult aardvark, just hours after her birth,” lead wildlife care specialist Cari Inserra said.

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The long-eared, hairless cub has tripled her birth weight in only five weeks.

She does not have a name yet and will remain out of view of zoo visitors for about two months as she bonds with her mother.

“We can’t wait until we are able to introduce the cub to our zoo guests, helping them learn more about this remarkable species,” Ms Inserra said.

Aardvarks are native to Sub-Saharan Africa. They have strong front legs and long claws adapted to digging burrows, where they spend the daylight hours before coming out in the evening to use their long, sticky tongues to slurp up ants and termites.

Updated: June 17, 2022, 6:22 PM