The San Diego Zoo last week announced the birth of a female aardvark cub — the first to be born at the zoo in more than 35 years.
San Diego now has a new “princess dirt pig.”
The first aardvark cub to be born at the San Diego Zoo in more than 35 years was revealed to have been born last week. Parents Zola and Azaan welcomed a cub on May 10; its name has not yet been decided.
The cub is well, and her mother has shown concern and close attention.
Cari Inserra, the zoo’s head wildlife care specialist, said in a statement: “We are thrilled to have this adorable cub in our care. Just hours after being born, she started digging with her razor-sharp claws like an adult aardvark. She is quite active.
The cub often fed and quadrupled her weight in just five weeks, going from around 4 pounds to more than 13 pounds.
We are eager to share the youngster with our Zoo visitors so they may learn more about this amazing animal, Inserra stated.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the home of aardvarks. The word “aardvark,” which means “earth pig” in Afrikaans, is a derivative. They can dig burrows because to their large claws and powerful front legs. Aardvarks spend the most of the day in their dark tunnels and are primarily nocturnal. They emerge in the evening to feast on ants and termites, which they are known for slurping with their long, sticky tongues.
Up to 50,000 insects can be consumed by an adult aardvark in one evening.
According to the zoo, the cub seldom leaves her mother’s side and will probably suckle from Zola for around six months. After two to three months, she will begin consuming insects. She might weigh up to 140 pounds when fully grown, which will happen in roughly a year.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which is intended to help maintain a healthy population, recommended mating Zola and Azaan together. On the Red List of Threatened Species maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, aardvarks are categorized as a species of least concern. Due to habitat destruction and poaching, as well as the recent increase in human population, they are currently in danger.
For around two months, the mother and young aardvark will remain hidden as they acclimate. When Zola is prepared, she will take her cub outdoors so that visitors may view it.
The aardvark, fondly referred to by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance as “a new princess dirt pig,” won the hearts of social media users right away.
One Twitter user said, “This offered me a fantastic sense of serenity.” I’m grateful.
Another person wrote, “AAAHH SO CUTE 3.”