They are animals rarely seen on this side of the globe, but if you have laid your eyes on one of these guys you'd surely remember.
African aardvarks are hard to miss. If you follow the scent that will remind you of old nachos into a deep, dark burrow, that's where you'll find sweet ole Lily. She's a 12-year-old, 150 pound aardvark with features that almost look burrowed.
"They do say they have like different animals parts on them – the tail of a kangaroo, the ears look like rabbit ears. She has a nose of a pig. But they are not related to any of those animals. They are their own family; nothing like them in the world really," said mammal curator Robert Porec.
These guys are truly one of a kind. Their name aardvark means Earth digger in Afrikaans, and that's exactly what the animals do.
"They have really strong front feet and if you look at the nails, they almost look like little shovels. So, they can dig about two feet in 15 seconds," said Robert.
Good luck beating that speed! Keepers say their tunnels are generally 10 feet to 15 feet deep.
A place where aardvarks find refuge is in Africa's Savannah grasslands.
When Lily sleeps, she usually curls into a dark corner because she's nocturnal. So, a lot of people who come to the zoo in the day time don't get to see her like this," said Robert.
Now you may be thinking these guys are a little bland because they sleep all day, but keepers say they play a central role in Africa's ecosystem by changing the habitat for other animals.
"They dig a lot, which lets the plants grow. They keep down the insect population. They create burrows, which others use to get out of the hot sun," Robert shared.
Although their eyesight is bad during the day, they use their long snout to sniff out stinky things around them. They also use it to find their next meal.
"They mainly wander around looking for a big termite nest and they'll dig it up and they have a long sticky tongue – about 12 inches long. They'll stick it into an ants nest and lick up all the ants in there," said Robert.
Since aardvarks are nocturnal, keepers have to work around the aardvarks schedule and feed them during the night rather than during regular zoo hours.