Supercute baby aardvark to meet public

Prague Zoo officials are pleased with the progress of the young Cape anteater

The baby aardvark born Aug. 20 to a mother named Kvido at Prague Zoo is doing so well that she is ready to be presented to the public. Prague Zoo veterinarians think the baby is a girl, but are going to conduct genetic tests to be sure.

“The baby now weighs three and a half kilos, and although she still sleeps most of the day is more and more interested and her surroundings. Kvido perfectly cares for her by sniffing, licking, and regularly cleaning her, and is very careful not to lay down on her,” breeder Jindra Kotrbáčková said in a news release.

This is already the fourth baby for Kvido, but the first she is raising on her own. The first two died and then she needed significant help for the third one. The mother is operating on a normal schedule, sleeping in the day and going to look for food in the night.

The keepers look after the baby in quiet seclusion at night when Kvido is awake and returns the baby in the morning so she can suck milk from her mother.

People will be able to see the mother and baby through an observation window in a curtain from noon to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Aardvarks, also called Cape anteaters or African ant bears, are native to Sub-Saharan Africa and not considered endangered or threatened. They eat ants and termites, which they dig out of hills with their claws and legs. They are the only living species of the order Tubulidentata, but there were some relatives in prehistoric times. The name aardvark comes from Afrikaans and means “earth pig.” They are not closely related to the South American anteater, which also has a long snout and lives on ants and termites.

An adult aardvark weighs between 60 and 80 kilograms and is about 105 and 130 cm long and 60 cm tall. Unlike the furry South American anteater, the aardvark has sparse, coarse hair on its body.

The zoo also has a program about birds this Saturday at the educational center, and on Sunday will celebrate 20 years of Eberhard von Leipziger Hauptbahnhof, a male Santa-Cruz Galápagos tortoise, residing at the zoo. A program on large tortoises will take place from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Prague Zoo is ranked as the fourth best zoo in the world by TripAdvisor.

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