(Latin = Orycteropus afer, Afrikaans =Erdvark, German =Erdferkel)
Numbers: Fairly high Weight: 41 - 65 kg (90 - 143lb.) Shoulderheight: 60 - 75 cm (24 - 28 in.) Pregnancydays: 210
Found all over South Africa, with the exception of the Western Cape's Peninsula and a small part of the Garden Route, the coastal area where the Western and Eastern Cape meets, as well as the most northern coastal area of the North Cape. Here's the fellow whose extinction will change the face of the South African wildlife dramatically! Luckily, it doesn't seem to be a serious possibility. But so many of the smaller animals are using this guy's digging for their own advantage. Of course, there's disadvantages to a great amount of Antbear holes in a farm or game park (go ask a long list of horsemen or off-road motorcyclists!)The amount of burrows dug by the Antbears of this country is absolutely uncountable. This powerful digger have surprised many tourists when, usually on night safari's they encountered the Antbear: one wonders how it can be so unknown and yet so big. It uses its well developed claws to dig powerfully into the savanna sand lands and often wanders of after a while to dig another. This opens the way for many a small family of other species to find a well-prepared home or hideout to breed. It sometimes balances itself on its tail in an upright sitting position. It feeds on millions of small ants or termites, collecting them with its very long tongue which seems to glue the ants to it by a thick type of saliva. For this fellow to disappear in a burrow, starting afresh, will take only a few seconds. The soil is worked out by solids kicks from the back feet. This also serves as an safety device against would-be followers‚ down under.