Monday, June 21, 2010

The Brazilian Aardvark

It came of a bit of a surprise to me today to learn that the Coati is "also known as Brazilian aardvark" (according to the Daily Mail). I must have led a sheltered life I thought. I have had a lifelong interest in animals, worked in zoos for 40+ years, worked with dozens of Coati's and never once heard them referred to as an aardvark of any description. I must have got it wrong I thought and so did an internet search on the term. As can be expected most references were in relation to the current news story.

The Express says "There are also about 10 Brazilian aardvark in Cumbria" and makes no mention of Coati at all.

The Telegraph does make a mention in "More obscure animals residing in the UK include the coati, also known as the Brazilian aardvark, with around 10 believed to be living wild in Cumbria,"

The Telegraph article goes on to say "The report also found around 1,000 wild boar, originally from France and Sweden, have escaped from farms across the south of England.

There are believed to be more than 50 large wildcats and a similar number of Australian Red-necked Wallabies plus more than 20 snapping turtles "

What? A thousand wild boar have escaped....a thousand? My gosh what incompetence.

50 large wildcats?????? From where? What kind of wildcat? Moving back to the Daily Mail they say "small leopards and jungle cats". Small leopards? Just what is a small leopard exactly?

Metro says "There are thought to be ten coatis, a kind of Brazilian aardvark, in Cumbria". In a way this is a worse way of putting it suggesting that they actually aadvarks from Brazil and sometimes known as coatis.

Not one of these papers used a scientific name anywhere Nasau nasua, Nasua narica. Readers are going to be taken in by this twaddle. I have not seen the original report from where they gleaned their information. Whoever put it together really needs to re-write and not rely too much on Wikipedia.

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  1. Hahahaha. Thanks for this blog entry!

  2. All the scientific names are present in the original report which, incidentally, carries no reference to Aardvarks, Brazilian or otherwise.