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A very rare sighting

I was jumping out of my skin from excitement the other day at the sight of something very special – an Aardvark!  I could not believe my eyes. Right there, in front of me, in the middle of the day, I saw one of the world’s most elusive and shy animals. Researchers and photographers travel all over Africa to study them and I felt so lucky to be able to spend about ten minutes with this guy.  

The Aardvark (Orycteropus afer)

The Aardvarkis a nocturnal animal that eats mainly ants and termites. It is also known as “African Ant bear”, and the name Aardvark originated from the early Afrikaans name – erdvark – meaning, earth/ground pig.  The name (Orycteropus) means burrowing foot and (afer) refers to Africa. 

Habitat & living

They are known to be good swimmers and of course popular for their digging skills and can dig a yard of tunnel in about five minutes.  Their burrows are huge and tunnels can stretch as long as 13 meters. The Aardvark changes the layout of its home regularly and moves around and makes a new home on a frequent basis. Abandoned homes are then used by many other species such as Warthog, Hyena and Mongooses.

These animals are mainly solitary and only pair up during the mating season. After a gestation period of seven months, one cub is born. They are weaned at 3 months, sexually mature at 2 years and can live up to 23 years of age.

 

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