Nashville Zoo Welcomes First Aardvark

Nashville Zoo just announced the arrival of Winsol, their very first aardvark.

One-year-old Winsol arrived from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and has been adjusting to Nashville life in the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center Neonatal Animal Care Room. Guests are able to say hello through an outdoor viewing window.

Winsol will be a part of Nashville Zoo’s Ambassador Animal program, participating in daily animal shows and walking around the Zoo for animal encounters.

“I have wanted to work with aardvarks since I was an intern at Cincinnati Zoo and saw the last baby they had there,” said Jacqueline Menish, Nashville Zoo Curator of Behavioral Husbandry in a release. “When we had the opportunity to get one here, I could not believe that long-held dream had finally come true. I know those who get to meet him will fall in love and hopefully understand how important it is for us to continue to protect the amazing diversity of animals found on the continent of Africa.”

According to the Zoo, Aardvark translates to “earth pig,” and although they look a lot like one, there is no relation to pigs. Aardvarks are nocturnal and are susceptible to sunburn as a result. They use their powerful claws to rip open termite mounds nearly as tough as concrete, so they can get to the insects inside. They will also eat ants at times and can close their nostrils to protect from invading insects and dust as they dig. Also their thick skin protects them from bites.

Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit nashvillezoo.org.

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