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Nashville Zoo Welcomes First Ever Aardvark

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of Winsol, its very first aardvark.

One-year-old Winsol arrived from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden this past weekend and has been adjusting to Nashville life in the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center Neonatal Animal Care Room. Guests are able to say hello through a 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. “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.” 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.

About Nashville Zoo
Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard. The Zoo attracts more than 1,000,000 visitors annually and is considered one of the top attractions in Nashville. 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