Zoo celebrates birth of aardvark
Published 12/03/2010 | 13:46
The only successful aardvark breeding group in the UK has added to its numbers with the arrival of a new baby, Colchester Zoo said.
The pink and wrinkly youngster, who was born on February 27, is the fourth offspring for mother Oq and father Adela, and the fifth born at the zoo.
The mother, who would separate from her mate during new births in the wild, has been moved with her baby to the zoo's new rearing burrow, which is being used for the first time in a bid to boost breeding success.
The burrow is away from visitors to give the new arrival, who has not yet been named, peace and privacy, but CCTV gives members of the public at the zoo a peek at the progress of the little aardvark.
Keepers said mother and baby will be in the rearing burrow for another month, before being moved back to be with the other aardvarks when the youngster is big enough to cope with any knocks and bumps from the adults.
Until then, staff will be keeping a close eye on the new arrival and have been sitting in to make sure it is healthy and feeding well.
And because newborn aardvarks have poor sight and are nocturnal and very clumsy, the keepers have even been taking the baby home at night to make sure it does not get accidentally crushed, as well as to give it supplementary feeds.