Staff, 2023-01-14 00:40:48,
Cape Town photographers Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead captured a female African Ant Bear (Aardvark) washed up at Sunset Beach, Milnerton, on Friday at around 6pm.
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds has removed the animal and handed it over to wildlife services for evaluation.
The aardvark is a nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata. A small population is found in the Western Cape’s Peninsula and along the Garden Route.
Sometimes referred to as the “Cape anteater”, these mammals have a long snout to sniff out food. They can weigh up to 80kg and pair only during the breeding season, after a gestation period of seven months.
The aardvark is born with conventional incisors and canines at the front of the jaw, which fall out and are not replaced. Adult aardvarks have only cheek teeth at the back of the jaw. They have large toes, each with a robust, shovel-like nail for digging and burrowing.
In terms of population, there are no definitive counts because of their nocturnal and secretive habits. However, due to their large range, they maintain sufficient numbers.
Still, it’s an uncommon occurrence to see one washed up on the beach.
Alex commented: “We are convinced it was a trafficked animal that died and was tossed overboard, maybe one or two hours before we found her, as she was in an immaculate condition when…
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