Have you ever heard of the Aardwolf? Neither have I! But the Cincinnati Zoo and National Geographic are trying to change that!

When you think of the word aardwolf, you’d probably guess that it’s part aardvark, part wolf. It turns out, aardwolves are actually neither, they are, in fact, a part of the hyena family! Their only connection to aardvarks is that they both eat termites. 

Aardwolves are mainly found in the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa, but you can only catch a glimpse of them at night since they are nocturnal animals. Farmers sometimes mistake aardwolves as predators hunting their livestock, but in reality, aardwolves can be particularly helpful to them because they eat about 200,000 termites a night, saving many of their crops from destruction!

Take a peek at these short videos that show just how awesome these cute creatures are!

This video makes me want to see an aardwolf in person! Thanks to Cincinnati Zoo’s Night Hunters exhibit, we can!

Aardwolves are actually in many zoos in America, but hardly any of us know of them! Why is that? These small creatures are pretty cool!

They aren’t fast, and they aren’t the best fighters, but they do have some good tactics to scare away threats! An aardwolf’s mane isn’t always noticeable until it senses danger, they puff up their manes to appear much larger than they truly are to seem more threatening. 

Aardwolves also have another defense mechanism! They are able to release disgustingly smelly liquid from their anal glands. Yuck! But it must work pretty well since aardwolves are still thriving today! 3

These animals aren’t very well known, but hopefully, they will be soon! Share this article with a friend to help them learn about this cute species!

Be understanding, be passionate, be joyous. But most of all, be yourself.

-Bethany

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

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Notes:

  1. “Meet the Aardwolf: A Cute Animal You Never Knew Existed | National Geographic.” YouTube. National Geographic, 03 Sept. 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4J6NsM2Cco>.
  2. “Aardwolf – Cincinnati Zoo.” YouTube. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 12 July 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLZDfKn0FmM>.
  3. “Aardwolf.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aardwolf#CITEREFGoodwin1997>.

Bethany is an editing and writing intern at Ever Widening Circles.