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National Zoo Announces Anteater Birth

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a giant anteater born March 12, in an indoor enclosure. This is only the second giant anteater to be born in the history of the Zoo.


Wild anteaters' diets consist mainly of, you guessed it, ants. They will also eat fallen fruit if they find it on the ground. Sounds like a refreshing way to wash down all the ants (up to 30,000 a day!)


Baby Anteater 3Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo. Date: March 13, 2009

National Zoo animal care staff and veterinarians have been closely monitoring mother Maripi (ma-RIP-ee) for the past six months, performing weekly ultrasounds and other diagnostics. Staff expected Maripi to give birth in mid to late March based on the typical gestation period of giant anteaters, National Zoo staff has yet to determine the baby’s gender or weight—and may not for some time.

Maripi is showing excellent maternal instinct in caring for her baby and is very patient as the baby nurses and negotiates various techniques of climbing onto mother’s back. Staff will make every effort to not disturb the animals, allowing time for mother and baby to bond.