MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Tennessee zoo’s newest arrival may be nocturnal, but hopefully, he won’t be turning to the dark side.
According to WHBQ-TV, the Memphis Zoo announced Wednesday that aardvarks Sunshine and Boss welcomed a baby Sept. 22 in the facility’s Animals of the Night exhibit. The newborn’s name is Grogu, a tribute to the “Mandalorian” character popularly known as Baby Yoda, the zoo said in a news release.
“There is a child among us … meet Grogu!” the zoo wrote in a Facebook post. “By Creed, the animal care staff will care for and protect the Child until it is reunited with its parents, Boss and Sunshine. This is the Way.”
Zookeepers are hand-rearing Grogu because “aardvarks can accidentally hurt an infant while moving around a larger space,” the release said. The baby – who weighed 3 pounds, 11 ounces when he was born – is fed every three to four hours and stays in an incubator, WHBQ reported.
Grogu, who is not currently on exhibit, “has a big personality,” the zoo added.
“He is constantly investigating his new environment, which for an aardvark, means he is always sniffing,” the release said. “He is cautious when he is exploring and often returns to his keepers to check in.”
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, aardvarks are native to Africa and “relatively common in suitable habitats.” The organization does not consider the animals threatened, vulnerable or endangered.