A baby aardvark has been born at Chester Zoo for the first time in its 90-year history.
Zookeepers were “overjoyed” to welcome the new arrival, who was found snuggled up to mum Oni and dad Koos after being born on 4 January.
The baby has been named Dobby, after the Harry Potter character, because it reminded keepers of the popular elf.
The aardvark calf has large droopy ears, hairless wrinkled skin, and giant claws.
As soon as we spotted the new baby next to mum we noticed its uncanny resemblance to the Harry Potter character, Dobby, and so that’s the calf’s nickname for the time being! We won’t though know for certain whether it’s male or female for several more weeks until the calf is a little older.’Dave White, Team Manager at Chester Zoo’.
Mr. White explained that aardvark parents are known for being a bit clumsy near their newborns, so staff is keeping a close eye on the baby and helping with feedings at night, to make sure there aren’t any accidental knocks or bumps.
“In the evening, when the parents are out exploring and feeding, we carefully place the calf into a special incubator and take it home to feed with warm milk every few hours.
There are only 66 aardvarks in zoos across Europe and just 109 in zoos worldwide, so it’s exciting for Chester Zoo to be one of a small number of zoos caring for the species.
The species is threatened in the wild by habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and hunting.
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Source: The Khaama Press News Agency