This adorable image shows Chester Zoo’s first baby aardvark, which the keepers call Dobby because of its similarity to Harry Potter. 

Oni, eight, gave birth to the baby calf overnight, January 4. Koos, six, was its father.

Sub-Saharan African ant-eaters are known for their droopy, hairless and wrinkley appearance.

To help the baby gain strength, staff are hand-rearing it each evening.

Dobby the aardvark, pictured here with mother Oni, left, was born overnight on January 4

Dobby, the Aardvark (pictured left with Oni), was born on January 4, 2008.

Dobby’s sexual history is still being determined by Keepers, as it can be difficult for the aardvark calves. 

Dobby was 1 kg, which is less than an average aardvark calves of 2kg.  

It is the first  to be born at Chester Zoo in the charity’s 90 year history.

Dave White is the team manager for the zoo. He said that it was a historic moment for them and an occasion to celebrate. We’re overjoyed.

“As soon as the baby was spotted next to her mother, we immediately noticed the uncanny resemblance it had to Harry Potter’s character Dobby. So that is the nickname of the calf for now.

“We will not know for sure if it is male or female until the calf has a bit older.

Dave White is the team manager for the zoo. He said that it was a historic moment for the Zoo and an occasion to celebrate. We’re overjoyed’

Aardvarks have a seven-month gestation period according and newborn calves normally weigh-in at around 2kg

The seven-month gestation time for Aardvarks is approximately 7 months. The newborns of these animals typically weigh around 2kg.

Keepers have been helping Dobby's mother by feeding the little aardvark to build up its strength

Dobby’s mom has been supported by her keepers who feed Dobby the little aardvark in order to increase its strength

There are only 66 aardvarks in zoos in Europe and a 106 across the globe

In Europe, there are only 66 and globally, there are 106 aardvarks

Parents of ‘Aardvarks are known to be a bit clumsy when it comes to their babies.

“Because the baby is fragile and tiny, we will protect it with extra feedings throughout the night. This will help to build up the strength of the calf.

“So in the evening when the parents are not out exploring or feeding the baby, we place it carefully into an incubator. Then, the mother and father take the baby home and give warm milk to the baby every couple of hours.

“The calves spend the day bonding with their mother Oni and cuddling up in her burrow. They’re doing well together.”

Aardvarks are at risk from habitat loss due to agriculture development. They also face conflict with farmers.

You can also hunt them for your meat.

Chester Zoo is one of only two zoos that care for this species. There are only 66 and 109 aardvarks in Europe.

Mark Brayshaw (curator of mammals at the Zoo) said that aardvarks were very secretive and are most active only in darkness. Therefore, some details of their daily lives are still largely unknown.

The care of species like the aardvarks in Zoos allows us learn more about their behavior, biology and how they live.

Mark Brayshaw, curator of mammals at the zoo, said: 'This new calf joins a conservation breeding programme that only a handful of zoos are part of globally'

Mark Brayshaw (curator of mammals at the Zoo) said, ‘This new calves joins a conservation breed programme that only few zoos worldwide are part of.

The word aardvark means 'earth pig' in Afrikaans from their habit of using their powerful claws to rip open termite mounds

Aardvark, Afrikaans word for earth pig is a result of the fact that they use their strong claws to open termite mounds.

“All this data is shared with leading conservation zoos, which helps us to improve our efforts to conserve their species.

“This new calves joins an internationally exclusive conservation breeding program, which only a small number of zoos can participate.”

Afrikaans uses the term aardvark to mean “earth pig”

Night-smart animals use their sensitive sense of smell and long noses for termites and ants.

Aardvarks employ their strong claws to open termite mounds and dig underground burrows where they rest.