Photo Credit: Sarah Kempen

Maple, the Aardwolf, brought us so much joy in 2020, and now, she is back in the wild, living her life to the fullest thanks to her second chance!


South Africa (20 July 2021) – Lauren Beckley from the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital started hand-raising an orphaned Aardwolf back in October 2020. Today, the Aardwolf, named Maple, is back in the wild! The Dodo featured her story.

The Aardwolf (Earth wolf) is a rare sighting for many. Anyone who has seen one in the wild can consider themselves incredibly lucky. Its diet consists of termites which is digs for in the ground and into termite mounds. Because of its particular diet, the Aardwolf lives only where the termites are. Their special hearing allows them to hear the termites moving in the ground. In an evening, an Aardwolf can eat up to 300,000 termites.

Aardwolves are nocturnal creatures and live mostly alone; they only pair up to mate and raise their young before going their separate ways. They are considered harmless carnivores.

Maple was found by a border collie, all alone on the outskirts of a farm in North West. After three days of attempting to reunite the pup with her mother, the farmer sent the Aardwolf to the wildlife vet team as they treat South Africa’s indigenous species.

She quickly started to thrive, gaining weight and eating a varied diet that she would eat in the wild. By December, she had been moved to an outdoor enclosure and was doing enrichment tasks that mimicked how her life would be in the wild.

Since December, little Maple has made enough progress to be released. The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital shared her inspiring story with The Dodo, which share their videos with millions of animal lovers worldwide.

The Dodo is using their platform and Maple’s story to raise funds for our Proudly South African veterinary hospital. Seeing as the team treat indigenous animals free of charge, this is great news! Take a look at Maple’s story below. If you would like to support the work done by the vet, you can also donate via the options below.

​​Johannesburg Wildlife NPC
FNB Cheque account
Account: 62658400264
Branch Code: 255355
​Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Or via SnapScan: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/PXMP5766

Sources: The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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