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A face only a mother could love?

Baby aardvark: so ugly it's cute!

One of the Detroit Zoo's newest residents weighed 3 1/2 pounds at birth, but had 4-inch-long ears.  Sound a little off to you? 

Well, perhaps ... but that's just the way nature intended this little creature.  Amani (Swahili for "peace") is a baby aardvark, a species not known for its conventional attractiveness ("The aardvark is vaguely pig-like in appearance. Its body is stout with an arched back and is sparsely covered with coarse hairs," says Wikipedia.  In fact, the word "aardvark" was derived from an Afrikaans word meaning "earth pig.").   Amani was born Dec. 8.

"This baby can only be described as hideously cute,"  Scott Carter, director of conservation and animal welfare at the zoo, was quoted as saying.

Zookeepers don't yet know Amani's gender; a DNA test is required to determine that.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo credit: Mark M. Gaskill, Detroit Zoo

 
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