Rare Aardvark Moves From Spain To Start Family
This male aardvark cub has been sent from Spain to the UK where he will join two females and hopefully start a family of his own.
The youngster, called Indi, was born in the Valencia Bioparc zoo in eastern Spain on 15th April 2019.
The male aardvark (Orycteropus afer) was transferred to Shepreth Wildlife Park in Royston to socialise with a new group and have a family of his own.
Indi will join two females in the English wildlife park, Saphira from Wales, and Elsi from the Czech Republic.
According to a statement by Valencia Bioparc, the trip was carried out with all the necessary security measures in place regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and with maximum care for the animal’s health and wellbeing.
Once in the UK, Indi was checked and had to undergo an adaptation process before joining the park’s females.
The aardvark is included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in the least concerned category and Valencia Bioparc is participating in an international conservation program.
It is the only breeding group in Spain for this species and has already had several younglings move to other zoos.
In Europe, there are 58 individuals of this species and a shortage of males in the parks where they’re based, so Indi is considered particularly valuable to the programme.
The aardvark commonly lives in African savannas and mainly feeds on ants and termites.
They are nocturnal and sleep deeply during the day until they venture out after sunset to feed.
They can also create big holes, digging at a speed equivalent to five men.
They have a 30-centimetre tongue and they can eat up to 50,000 insects in one night.