A Giant Zambian Mole-rat pup born on June 22 is the first surviving second generation of this species at the Peoria Zoo.
The most notable feature of Mole-rats is a pair of large incisors that lie outside the mouth. Giant Mole-rats excavate their burrows by biting at the soil with their incisors, pushing it under their bodies with their forefeet and kicking it backward with their hind feet.
Peoria Zoo was the first recorded institution in the United States to exhibit this species. Peoria Zoo and its partners imported Giant Zambian Mole-rats from South Africa for exhibition and research in the United States in 2006. Since their arrival zoo staff has been working to find a management technique to ensure breeding success.
Ashley, the pup’s mother, born in 2008, was the first offspring ever to survive at the Peoria Zoo.
At six weeks of age the Mole-rat pup weighs less than one ounce (24g), but will grow to weigh more than 1.3 pounds (600g). Pups have dark brown fur, while adults are buff -colored.
See more about Mole-rats below the fold.