So ugly she’s cute

Courtesy Denver Zoo

Meet Tonks, the Denver Zoo’s baby aye-aye. She was born August 8 and is just emerging from her nesting box. Her parents are Bellatrix and Smeagol (appropriate name!). Only 24 aye-ayes live in seven zoos in the US. They are extremely elusive creatures and their numbers in the wild are unknown.

Aye-ayes are an endangered type of lemur native to Madagascar. There the locals consider them bad luck, even evil, and often kill them on sight. They were thought to be extinct in 1933, but were rediscovered in 1957.

According to a lengthy Wikipedia article, the aye-aye is the world’s largest nocturnal primate, hence the protruding eyes. It finds insects by tapping on the bark of trees and listening for distinctive reverberations with its oversized ears. After biting through the bark with its incisors (which, as in rodents, never stop growing), it probes for the insects a specially adapted long, thin middle finger.

So, is Tonks ugly, cute, or something in between? I think the still photo didn’t catch her best side; in the video she’s pretty cute. Most of the time.

 

10 comments

    1. Hmm, can’t say I’ve ever seen a baby mole rat. However, I did raise some rats for a science fair project in high school and thought my baby hooded rats were pretty cute. I kept my favorite as a pet for some months after that. Named it Charlie Brown. Don’t recall what became of it. Probably took it back to the lab where I got his parents.

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