Drowning ruled out in Milnerton’s aardvark mystery

This adult female aardvark was found washed up on Milnerton’s Sunset Beach on Friday January 13.

Drowning has been ruled out as the likely cause of death for an aardvark that was found mysteriously washed up on Milnerton’s Sunset Beach on Friday January 13.

An independent wildlife veterinarian, Doctor Luca Mendes, made this determination following an autopsy, according to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

The aardvark, an adult female, was in otherwise good condition, with no signs of external trauma that might have indicated how she came to be floating in the sea, the SPCA said in a statement.

Examining the animal’s heart, Dr Mendes noticed conditions that would indicate that she had suffered from heart failure, and some fluid on the lungs would indicate shock lung, which is a state most often caused by suffocation, such as being kept in a box with no ventilation, said the SPCA.

The conclusion is that the aardvark was already dead by the time it went into the water, either having been dumped overboard from a ship close to shore or it was somehow put into the sea from land.

Alex and Juanita Aitkenhead, who took a picture of the washed-up aardvark around 6pm on Friday, believe that the animal was trafficked and died after being tossed overboard from a ship because “she was in a good condition when we saw her”.

The SPCA said it would continue to investigate the “mysterious event”.

Anyone with information on the case can contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA at 0217004140 or wildlife1@spca-ct.co.za