After Checking His Tires, A Truck Driver Never Expected To Find This!

An orphaned aardvark in Namibia found a loving, forever home after being transported to the ZURI Orphanage.

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

While readying his truck to take off, a driver in Namibia discovered the most peculiar thing! A baby aardvark was curled up against one of the vehicle’s tires. Hairless and estimated to be approximately 2 months old, the animal was picked up by the good samaritan and driven back to the truck company’s headquarters.

From there, he contacted Dr. Erika de Jager, a veterinarian and the founder of ZURI Orphanage. The native African animal quickly captured the hearts of the staff members. Dr. Jager told The Dodo, 

“It was love at first sight for me.” 

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

The aardvark was named E.T. and received plenty of love and care. However, it was a bit of a learning curve for Dr. Jager and the orphanage’s staff to present the baby animal with everything it needed.

“We had to experiment a lot with different teats,” de Jager said. “We also fed him, in the beginning, a local brand of kitten milk, but he did not do well. It was only after we received some advice from a lecturer at Onderstepoort that we had a better idea of what to feed. We then started to feed him the imported milk and he immediately started to pick up weight.”

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

According to the veterinarian, caring for a baby aardvark is very much like caring for a human baby. “They need to be fed every couple of hours,” said de Jager.

Fortunately, E.T. wasn’t shy and made a few friends at the shelter. Rescue dogs Spokie and Zarah are used to exotic animals, therefore, adopted E.T. into their pack.

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

“If the dogs went for a walk, ET was with them,” de Jager said. “I don’t think ET realized he was an aardvark. I think he just assumed he was a dog.”

In fact, the aardvark often dozed in the dog beds. “He slept with the dogs and in the dogs’ beds like a baby,” commented de Jager. He may, in fact, think he’s a dog. 

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

Five months after being rescued, it was time for E.T. to be released into the wild. Though he spends his days exploring the nearby wilderness, he still “comes home every night”, according to de Jager.

Credit: ZURI Orphanage

After caring for E.T., the staff is now prepared to care for orphaned aardvarks in the future. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


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