Meet our charismatic aardvark 

With large ears, a long snout and an even longer tongue, aardvarks are easy to recognise! Whilst compared to pigs and anteaters, aardvarks are the only living species in their family. Aardvarks are colourblind and don’t have the best eyesight. Instead, they use their impressive hearing, powerful sense of smell and shovel-shaped claws to find and dig up insects and their long, sticky tongue to catch and eat them. You can find our male aardvark, Tafari, living alongside the meerkats in Discovery Desert. 

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Animal facts

Key facts about the aardvark

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I’m found in Africa 

Aardvarks can be found across Africa’s grasslands, savannas and rainforests 

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My favourite food is insects 

Aardvarks are insectivorous and eat termites and ants 

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My name means ‘earth pig’ in Afrikaans  

The aardvark’s impressive nose and underground burrowing gave it its name 

50,000

termites eaten a day

30cm

tongue length

20+ years

average lifespan

Learn more about our inquisitive aardvark from his keeper, Leila
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A special relationship between aardvark and cucumber 

Whilst aardvarks are mostly insectivorous, they also enjoy eating a certain kind of fruit – the ‘aardvark cucumber’ (Cucumis humifructus). The cucumbers are unable to disperse their seeds themselves, so the fruit relies on the aardvarks digging them up and eating them to spread and replant the seeds! 

Help us care for our aardvark