‘She loves her avocado’: Meet Nashville Zoo’s new aardvark

Nashville Zoo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Zoo has reintroduced its “Getting to Know You” tour with their aardvark animal ambassador, Winsol. But, that’s not all.

The zoo has welcomed its first ever female aardvark, Karanga.

“She’s very sweet. I’ve already fallen in love with her,” said Kelsey Spies, Animal Ambassador Keeper 2. “She’s all about her treats, which at this point are mostly cucumber banana and avocado. She loves her avocado.”

Aardvarks, which translates to dirt-pigs, also eat tons of ants and termites – especially out in the wild.

Spies said Karanga has certainly taken to the dirt-pig name. “She’s got a dig pit in her room right now, which has been her favorite thing.”

Karanga is a one-year-old Southern African aardvark that recently joined the Species Survival Plan program at the Nashville Zoo from Disney.

“We hope, in the years to come, have baby aardvarks running around at some point,” said Spies.

After a quarantine period, which ends soon, she will be introduced to Winsol.

“She’s already getting used to his smells and sounds. We’re hoping for a smooth transition,” Spies said.

In the meantime, Spies said they have already started preparing Karanga to become an ambassador animal.

“She’s already started training in harness and leash work.” Spies continued, “We hope to do as we do with Winsol is walk her around the zoo when it’s nice outside.”

While aardvarks aren’t considered endangered, Spies said anyone can help with the zoo’s ongoing conservation efforts in the community and the wild.

“A very easy, very simple thing to do is just come visit us,” Spies said ticket proceeds go towards conservation.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to interact with the aardvark click on this link to reserve your spot.

News 2 has partnered with Nashville Zoo to bring you weekly segments of Zoopalooza. You can watch them on News 2 on Good Morning Nashville on Saturday and right here on WKRN.com.

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