The Minnesota Zoo is thrilled to announce the rare birth of a Southern Tamandua (pronounced tah-man-do-ah) infant. It is the first Tamandua ever born at the Zoo.
Born April 8, the Tamandua – a female – has been spending time bonding with her mom in their exhibit on the Tropics Trail. She weighs just under one pound; zoo keepers are still deciding on a name. There are just 30 Tamanduas in AZA-accredited institutions in North America.
Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Southern Tamanduas have long, curved snouts and long arms that end in sharp claws. Well-designed to take advantage of the abundance of insects living in the rainforest, their thick, coarse fur helps keep ants from biting their skin. They eat ants, termites, grubs, bees, and honey. Tamanduas can be found in a variety of tropical habitats, from rain forests to arid savannas, and are commonly found near rivers and streams. Clumsy on the ground, these animals spend most of their time in trees, using their long tails to grab branches while climbing. Sometimes called “the stinkers of the forest,” Tamanduas give off a strong smell to mark their territory and scare away other animals.