A UK safari park has welcomed a rare new addition to the fold – thanks to the first ever birth of an aardvark on the estate.
The one-kilo aardvark was born hairless and wrinkly at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
Over the months ahead the mammal, more commonly found in Africa, will grow to two-metres long and will develop the ability to dig through soil at two-metres a minute, reports SomersetLive.
Longleat team manager Catriona Carr said: “This is our first ever aardvark birth so we are paying particularly close attention to how the calf is growing and checking its weight daily.
“Aardvark calves can be fragile in their first stages of life, and parents can sometimes be a bit clumsy so we are closely monitoring mother and baby and helping with feeding sessions until the calf has got stronger and can look after itself.”
The baby giant anteater also born at Longleat (Image: Longleat)
The park has also welcomed a baby giant anteater and a pair of newborn six-banded armadillos, making up what the park is referring to as its own ‘A Team’.
The giant anteater is officially listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
The pair of baby six-banded armadillos born at Longleat (Image: Longleat)
The armadillos are the only pairing to be announced by Longleat in the raft of new births.
The name comes from the Spanish for ‘little armoured one’ and refers to the hard, protective bands which cover their bodies and protects them from predators.
This protective layer is made from keratin, the same material in hair and nails.