Aardvark in Detroit Zoo

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Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a nocturnal animal of Africa that thrives on ants and termites. Because of its pig-like features, it is also called earth pig or earth hog.

Known to live in savannahs, grasslands, and rain forests, the mammal with a characteristic elongated snout, hairy body, sharp claws, and large ears shares some features of the South American anteater. In captivity it grows to 88 to 123 lbs and lives to up to 23 years.

Africans admire the aardvark’s relentless search for food at night. The porcine-like warm-blooded animal lives in burrows and comes out at night to forage in an area that can extend form 10 to 20 kilometers. With poor eyesight, the earth hog whose natural predator includes leopards and lions is hunted by humans for bush meat. In a Detroit Zoo a newborn aardvark is born showing how unusual animals try to survive in captivity. (Photo Credit: Mark Gaskill/ Detroit Zoo)=0=

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