Umoya Khulula Wildlife Centre in Tzaneen recently took two aardwolf cubs into their care. The cubs, named Sonny and Cher were born via C-section after a farmer shot the mother while she was pregnant.
The two were born prematurely, but healthy. The first few weeks of their lives were spent at the South African Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where they received round-the-clock care until they were about five weeks old.
After that, they were sent to Umoya Khulula Wildlife Centre to begin a slow and steady rehabilitation process into the wild.
An aardwolf’s gestational period is between 90 to 100 days, and a female can produce between two to four cubs per litter. The first few weeks of life for aardwolf cubs are crucial, as they depend on both parents to feed them regurgitated termites, and to protect them from their natural predators, namely leopards, lions, and spotted hyenas, and black-backed jackals.
According to Britannica, the aardwolf is most often classified in the family Hyaenidae, but some authorities place it in a family of its own called Protelidae.
Pictures: Umoya Khulula Wildlife Centre