San Diego Zoo welcomes 1st aardvark birth in years

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2022 © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

In this photo released by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, an aardvark cub explores her habitat at the San Diego Zoo on June 10, 2022. For the first time in more than 35 years, an aardvark pup has been born at the zoo. The female, which has not yet been named, was born May 10. Zookeepers say she is doing well and that her mother, Zola, is caring and attentive. (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance via AP)

SAN DIEGO – An aardvark cub born at the San Diego Zoo is doing well and developing quickly, according to wildlife specialists.

The female cub was born May 10 and will nurse from her mother, Zola, for about six months, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said this week in announcing the zoo's first aardvark birth in nearly four decades.

“She is very active, and was using her sharp claws to dig like an adult aardvark, just hours after her birth,” lead wildlife care specialist Cari Inserra said in the statement.

The long-eared, hairless cub has tripled her birth weight in just five weeks.

She does not have a name yet, and will remain out of view of zoo visitors for about two months as she bonds with her mother.

"We can’t wait until we are able to introduce the cub to our Zoo guests, helping them learn more about this remarkable species,” Inserra said.

Aardvarks are native to sub-Saharan Africa. They have strong front legs and long claws adapted to digging burrows where they spend daylight hours until emerging in evenings to use their long, sticky tongues to slurp up ants and termites.