Born on February 27th at the UK's Colchester Zoo, this two week old baby aardvark doesn't quite fit into its pink skin. The little boy or girl currently resides with mom in the the secluded "rearing burrow," which was specially constructed to provide mother and cub with privacy during the first few weeks. For a mammal of its size, the aardvark has a tiny brain and adult aardvarks are notoriously clumsy so it's important to keep the delicate baby aardvark away from the other lumbering adults for now. Baryshnikov aardvarks aren't.
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10th March 2010
Colchester Zoo’s Aardvark family continues to grow with latest new baby birth!
Colchester Zoo’s group of aardvarks are one of the most successful breeding groups in Europe and the only successful group to breed in the UK; and they have continued to multiply with the birth of a new baby aardvark on Saturday 27th February! The new arrival is the fourth offspring born to mum, Oq and dad; Adela, and the fifth new baby born overall! The new baby and mum are also the first to be moved into the new rearing burrow which has been specially built to enhance the breeding success that has been experienced with this species.
Female aardvarks naturally separate from their mates during the time of new births in the wild, and the rearing burrow will provide mum and baby with the much needed peace and privacy to bond during this important time. The new burrow is off show to visitors to ensure maximum peace and privacy, but there is a closed circuit TV fitted in the main visitor tunnel to allow you a sneak peek into the progress of baby and mum!
Oq and baby will be able to leave the rearing burrow and move back to re-join the main group within approximately a month’s time, when the youngster will be strong enough to sustain any knocks and bumps from the other full-grown aardvarks. Until then, mum and baby are being kept a close eye on by the Keepers, who have been sitting in with mum and baby to ensure that the feeding and health of the new born goes well within the first few weeks. As new born aardvarks are not particularly well-sighted and nocturnal as well as being very clumsy, the baby can be crushed accidently and so Keepers will continue to keep a close eye on the new arrival and even take the baby home at night to make sure it is safe and well looked after!