WCS's Bronx Zoo Welcomes Its First Aardvark Baby
New York, NY – Dec. 2, 2010 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo today
debuted the first baby aardvark ever born at the zoo.
The new male aardvark, nicknamed Hoover, was born in
September to parents Dora and Arthur. Hoover spends all of his time with his
mother and will continue to nurse until he is three months old. Zoo-goers can
see the aardvarks in their naturalistic nocturnal exhibit in the Carter Giraffe
The Bronx Zoo was the first North American zoo to
exhibit aardvarks in 1924. The zoo’s current aardvark exhibit opened in 2008.
“The Bronx Zoo has exhibited aardvarks several times
during its long history, but they are notoriously difficult animals to breed and
rear and we have never had a baby at the zoo until now,” said Jim Breheny, WCS
Senior Vice President and Director of the Bronx Zoo. “Aardvarks are so
different from any other species; it is really amazing to have the opportunity
to watch a calf develop and mature from birth.”
Aardvarks are completely nocturnal and found throughout much
of sub-Saharan Africa. They occur in scrub, open woodland, and particularly in
heavily grazed grasslands where there are lots of termites. In the wild,
aardvarks are powerful diggers and spend the majority of daylight hours in
The aardvark exhibit at WCS’s Bronx Zoo replicates the
species’ native African habitat. It includes termite mounds and sandy
groundcover to allow the animals to burrow and dig. The exhibit lighting is
similar to moonlight to make it easy to watch the nocturnal behavior of the
The name aardvark translates to “earth pig” in Afrikaans.
They are also commonly referred to as ant bears. The aardvark has the
distinction of being the only member of the family Tubulidentata, which means
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s conservation field staff
is on the ground working to protect wildlife and wild lands across the
aardvark’s African range and around the world.
WCS collaborates with local governments, organizations, and local communities to build constituencies that support conservation of important species and habitats.
**The aardvark calf will
be on exhibit with his mother all day Friday, Dec. 3 – Sunday, Dec. 5. He and his mother will then rotate his
exhibit times with the adult male aardvark until further notice.
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Fairchild –718-220-5189; email@example.com
saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation,
education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife
parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change
attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in
harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the
integrity of life on Earth.
The Wildlife Conservation
Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily
from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old)
$12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars
and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River
Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19,
#22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just
outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com
or call 718-367-1010.
If you would like to guide
your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support
of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation