Kruger Park Mammals - Aardvark (Ant Bear)
The Aardvark, also know as the Ant Bear, is a very strange looking mammal, and a very elusive one at that. The Aardvark's scientific name is Orycteropus afer and they can weigh up to 70 kilograms and reach an age of 20 years.
The Aardvark is strictly nocturnal and very secretive. Because of this they are very difficult to study, and numbers and accurate distribution have been heard to calculate or even estimate in the Kruger National Park. The Aardvark is a solitary animal, except when mating. Considering this, it is very strange to note that the Aardvark is sometimes seen feeding side by side with the Cape Pangolin in the Kruger, as they have similar habitat and food requirements.
Kruger Park Aardvark Distribution Map
As seen from the distribution map on the left, the Aardvark is very sporadic. They can be found in the Kruger where there is a high concentration of termite mounds, which is there main food item. They do not occur in the alluvial plains of the north and in the Mopane in the central areas. They like soft sand and soil, and are not often seen in riverine forest.
More Information On The Kruger Aardvark
The Aardvark has been glimpsed during daylight hours sitting at the entrance to the burrows they live in, which have been know to have up to 30 entrances and span huge distances. These are called Aardvark holes, and once they are abandoned, become homes to all sorts of creatures such as Warthog, Banded Mongoose, Pangolin and reptiles. Many other animals use these Aardvark holes as shelter or to evade predators. Not a lot is known about the predation on Aardvarks in the Kruger, but according to other research, Leopard and African Rock Python are their main predators, with Lion using the Aardvark, much like they do a Pangolin, as a toy more than a prey item. The Aardvark are under threat! Populations and numbers of these animals are dwindling and scientists still haven't been able to identify the reason behind it. Hopefully something will be recorded soon.
Kruger Park Aardvark Gallery
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Find out more information on Where To Find Aardvark here.