Busch Gardens Tampa has welcomed its fifth baby aardvark. It’s unusual, yet adorable, features are stealing the hearts of the Busch Gardens animal care team who bottle feed and monitor the baby’s health whilst its mother, Izzy, forages at night.
Newborn aardvarks are sometimes referred to as “ugly cute” with elongated noses, large floppy ears and hairless, wrinkly skin. After two weeks, the folds of skin disappear and, around three weeks, the ears will begin to stand upright.
The baby’s sex will be determined within the next few weeks, along with the team’s decision on a name.
This is Busch Gardens’ fifth successful aardvark birth and is part of the park’s participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
The mother and baby are currently behind-the-scenes at Busch Gardens. The baby will be part of Busch Gardens’ animal ambassador program, helping to educate guests about this species and their counterparts in the wild.