Baby Aardvark at Busch Gardens

Baby aardvark

Photo by Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Busch Gardens welcomed an odd, yet adorable, newborn earlier this fall. A little baby aardvark was born to mother Izzy on September 18.

With hairless, wrinkly skin and large floppy ears, some call the little baby “ugly-cute.” After a few weeks, the folds of skin will disappear and the ears will stand up straight.

Baby Aardvark at Busch Gardens

On March 26, Busch Gardens welcomed a new baby aardvark!  The newborn currently weighs 4.8 pounds, but it is estimated to grow more than 120 pounds within its first year.   The baby is being cared for by the animal care team behind the scenes at Jambo Junction.  Check back at Busch Gardens’ Facebook page to find out when the little aardvark will make its public debut.

Baby aardvark at Busch Gardens

Photo provided by Busch Gardens

Baby aardvark at Busch Gardens

Photo provided by Busch Gardens

In the wild, aardvarks are solitary and elusive. They inhabit various ecosystems south of the Sahara in Africa, and they feed mainly on ants and termites.  They are adept diggers, capturing their prey underground and creating burrows to rest in during the day.  Because other animals use these burrows for shelter, the aardvark is considered a keystone species.

Baby Animals of 2011

There were so many adorable baby animals born in 2011.  Here are a few highlights:

Baldest Baby: This baby aardvark was born at Busch Gardens Tampa on April 10, 2011. He was hand-reared by zookeepers because his mother was neglecting him.

Photo provided by Busch Gardens

Unlikely Friends: An 8-week-old cheetah (born in February) was paired with a 16-week-old yellow lab at Busch Gardens Tampa. The two adolescents became great pals.

Cheetah cub and puppy friends

Photo provided by Busch Gardens

Most Smiley: A dolphin calf was born on July 26th at SeaWorld Orlando. Here he is bonding with his mother.

Dolphin mother and calf

Photo provided by SeaWorld

Hope you enjoyed our roundup of amazing animal babies of 2011. Happy New Year!