For the first time in the zoo’s 90-year history, an aardvark has been born!

Chester Zoo is filled with joy as it celebrates the birth of its first-ever aardvark. Conservationists discovered the new arrival snuggled up with its eight-year-old mother, Oni, and six-year-old father, Koos, after it was born overnight on January 4. The calf, born with large droopy ears, hairless wrinkled skin, and giant claws, is currently being hand-reared every evening by dedicated zookeepers. They feed the baby every few hours throughout the night for about five weeks to help it gain strength.

Staff at the zoo have affectionately nicknamed the youngster «Dobby» due to its resemblance to the beloved character from the Harry Potter series. Aardvarks are native to sub-Saharan Africa, where they face threats such as habitat loss due to agricultural development, which brings them into conflict with local farmers. They are also hunted for their meat.

These nocturnal creatures rely on their long noses and keen sense of smell to locate ants and termites, which they lap up with their long, sticky saliva-covered tongue. Their powerful claws are used to tear open termite mounds and dig underground burrows for sleeping.

The birth of this aardvark at the zoo is a significant milestone, as it is the first of its kind to be born there. Caring for species like aardvarks in zoos provides valuable opportunities to learn more about their behavior, biology, and overall well-being.

This new calf joins a conservation breeding program that only a few zoos worldwide are part of, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts. It is hoped that this birth will not be the last, as our planet faces challenges, and we must strive to protect and preserve our environment.

Congratulations to the zoo staff, veterinarians, and everyone involved in the care of this little miracle. The arrival of this aardvark calf is a testament to the dedication and hard work put forth by the team. May these wonderful ambassadors of their species be blessed, and may this little one thrive in its new world.

Please share this heartwarming story with your friends and family to spread the joy.

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