Zoo Berlin welcomed a baby Giant Anteater on May 26. The baby, named Evita by her keepers, is a female. The name was chosen because "E" is the fifth letter in the alphabet, and this is mom Griseline's fifth surviving baby. Before Evita there were Adolpho, Benita, Carlos, and Danita, all born at Berlin Zoo. Evita is being hand-fed by keepers and receives three additional bottle meals per day.
Evita was just 1,570 grams, or 3.5 pounds, when she was born, but has now increased her weight to 2.5 kg, or 5.5 pounds. She's strong enough to ride on her mother's back — a behavior that is common in Giant Anteaters. Keepers, however, must keep a close eye on Evita since her coloration makes it difficult to distinguish her from her mother's fur.
Giant Anteaters are insectivores native to South America. As the name implies, their diets consist of ants as well as other small insects. They use their strong claws to tear open termite mounds and anthills. Since Giant Anteaters have no teeth, their two-foot-long tongues and sticky saliva help them to extract the insects.