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 Building.**

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 burrows.

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 animals.

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 “tube teeth.”

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.

Media Contacts:

Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182;
Steve Fairchild –718-220-5189;

The Wildlife Conservation Society 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 or call 718-367-1010.

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