AMANI THE AARDVARK ARRIVES PEACEFULLY AT DETROIT ZOO
ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo’s newborn aardvark, Amani (Swahili for “peace”), was born at 1:05 a.m. on December 8 to mother, Rachaael, and father, Mchimbaji. The Zoo is awaiting DNA test results to determine the sex.
The 23-inch infant arrived hairless, weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces, with ears measuring 4 inches. “This baby can only be described as hideously cute,” said Director of Conservation and Animal Welfare Scott Carter. “Rachaael is a first-time mother and is showing great maternal instincts.”
Due to the aardvark’s clumsy nature and poor eyesight, veterinary and zookeeper staff are assisting Rachaael with raising the fragile baby to prevent the possibility of it being injured. Since the birth, Amani has more than doubled in size. Adult aardvarks can weigh from 90 to 145 pounds and grow 5 to 6 feet in length.
The aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is an African mammal whose name derives from the Afrikaans word “earth pig”. The animal’s unusual appearance plays a part in its success as a forager. The ears point forward to enable it to listen for the sound of insects. The snout is long and filled with hair that acts as a filter, letting scents in and keeping dirt out. Strong limbs and spoon-shaped claws can tear though the sturdiest of termite mounds, allowing the aardvark to trap insects with its long, sticky tongue which can be up to 12 inches long.
Amani will be seen with Rachaael and Mchimbaji across from the giraffe habitat in the spring of 2009 with the Zoo’s other aardvarks, Amy Bob and Lily.
Ann Savage, born Bernice Maxine Lyon, was a motion picture actress for more than sixty years. Her publicist Kent Adamson issued a statement indicating that the actress died in a nursing home at age 87 on December 25, 2008 from complication following a series of strokes.
The actress was known for her cigarette-puffing femme fatale role in Detour, where she blackmailed a stranger. Savage and her Detour co-star Tom Neal made three other movies: Klondike Kate, Two Man Submarine and Unwritten Code. They also appeared together in a television show Gangbusters.
Savage appeared in 30 films and in later years attended numerous film festivals and earned the respect of several generations of independent film directors. Wim Wenders called her work in Detour “at least 15 years ahead of its time”. Ann more recently earned rave reviews for her stunning performance as Canadian director Guy Maddin’s mother in his most acclaimed film My Winnipeg (2008). Ann Savage discussing her role in Edgar Ulmer's DETOUR