Giant Anteater Sticks to Mom Like Velcro

Zoo Boise Anteater Pup 1

Zoo Boise is happy to announce the birth of a Giant Anteater pup.  The baby was born July 6 and is now starting to venture outside with its mother, Gloria.  After a few weeks of privacy inside their barn, the two anteaters are starting to explore their outdoor exhibit for short periods of time and may be viewable to zoo visitors.  

Zoo Boise Anteater Pup 2

Zoo Boise Anteater Pup 3

Zoo Boise Anteater Pup 4Photo Credits: Zoo Boise

With the exception of mothers with offspring, anteaters are generally solitary animals.  Anteater Dad, McCauley, can be found in a separate exhibit next to Gloria and their pup. Keepers will verify the sex of the pup during its first veterinarian exam. After that, they will decide upon a name for the new anteater.

During their first year, giant anteater pups will spend much of their time riding on their mothers’ backs.  Born with a full coat of fur, the pup is able to blend in with its mother so that predators cannot easily see it.  The pup will stay with its mother until it is full-grown, between one and two years of age.

Also known as the Ant Bear, the Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is one of four living species of anteaters and is classified with sloths in the order Pilosa. The species is mostly terrestrial, in contrast to other living anteaters and sloths, which are arboreal or semi arboreal.       

The Giant Anteater can be found in multiple habitats, including grassland and rainforest. It forages in open areas and rests in more forested habitats. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them. They can eat up to 30,000 insects in one day! Though Giant Anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly solitary.

The species is the largest of its family: 5.97 to 7.12 feet (182-217 cm) in length, weights up to 73 to 90 lbs. (33-41 kg) for males, and 60 to 86 lbs. (27-39 kg) for females. The Giant Anteater is recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore claws, and distinctively colored pelage.

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Rare Little Giant Born at Longleat in the UK


A rare, baby Giant Anteater has been born at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, in the UK! The endangered South American mammal, named Julie-Poppet, was born in early July. She is only the third Giant Anteater to be born at the Wiltshire safari park.



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The Giant Anteater is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and Julie-Poppet is now a significant part of the preservation of her species. Between 2000 and 2010, the total population of the species declined by 30%.

“To have a successful birth with our anteaters is fantastic, as the species is under increasing threat in the wild,” said keeper Catriona Carr. “It’s especially good to see mum and Julie-Poppet showing all the usual signs of a mother and baby relationship in the early stages.”

“For the first six months Maroni will carry the baby on her back virtually all the time. The baby takes milk by moving around underneath mum and only very rarely lets go.”

“The baby aligns itself to the pattern on mum’s back to provide camouflage from any predators who might prey on the young. It’s so effective that it’s almost as if the baby becomes invisible,” she added.

Mum Maroni, who was born in France, and German dad Bonito arrived at Longleat five years ago as part of a coordinated European Breeding Programme for the species.

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Baby Tamandua Wants Its Mommy!

Oso Hormiguero 27 feb.

The second-ever Tamandua to be born in a Uruguayan zoo came into the world on February 27 at Bioparque M'Bopicuá.  Uruguay’s first captive-born Tamandua was also born at the Bioparque in September 2014. In the video below, the newborn calls to its mother, and she rushes over to check on her baby.

Dscn3641Photo Credit:  Bioparque M'Bopicuá 

Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Tamanduas may look strange, but every body part has a purpose.  Their long snouts can poke into anthills or termite mounds, and their sticky, 16-inch-long tongues gather up insects.  Huge front claws tear open termite mounds and help Tamanduas climb trees, while prehensile tails help them hang on.

Tamanaduas are big stinkers – literally.  They spray a smelly substance that’s said to be four times as powerful as a skunk’s.   This powerful scent makes Tamanduas unappealing to predators like jaguars.

Baby Tamanduas are born after a five-month gestation.  Right from the start, the babies sport very large claws.  Babies ride on their mothers’ backs for the first few months of life. At this time, Tamanduas are plentiful in their home range in Central and South America.

Meet Uruguay’s First Zoo-Born Tamandua!

A baby Tamandua born at Bioparque M'Bopicuá on September 10 is not only the first to be born at the zoo – it is the first captive-born Tamandua in all of Uruguay.

_SDC8805Photo Credit:  Juan Villalba

Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Tamanduas are native to Central and South America.  Tamanduas are supremely adapted for slurping up ants and termites:  Their long, tubular snout holds a sticky, 16-inch-long tongue, which grabs bugs by the dozen when a nest is discovered. 

Surprisingly, Tamanduas spend most of their time in the treetops, searching for ant and termite nests.  During the day, they’ll sleep in tree hollows used by other creatures at night.

Tamnaduas are not threatened, but they still face pressures from hunting and the pet trade.

See more photos of the baby Tamandua below.

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Denver Zoo Staff Help Save Tamandua Baby

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A newborn Southern Tamandua baby is alive and doing well at Denver Zoo thanks to the dedication of zookeepers and veterinarians who are caring for the infant around the clock. On March 7, Rio gave birth to her first offspring, believed to be female, whom keepers have named Cayenne. 

Zookeepers realized within 24 hours of Cayenne’s birth that she was not getting enough milk, as Rio, an inexperienced first-time mom, became inattentive to the baby and was not allowing her to nurse. Zookeepers and veterinarians began bottle feedings around the clock and monitoring Cayenne’s weight and temperature while she was housed in an incubator. Staff used established protocols obtained from experts at other zoos that have also had to hand rear baby Tamanduas. 

They continued to give Rio time to bond with and nurse her baby, and Rio is slowly learning her role as a mother. Little by little, Rio is becoming more accustomed to Cayenne behind-the-scenes at the zoo’s Gates Animal Housing Center.

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3 tamanduaPhoto credit: Denver Zoo

“We knew from our conversations with experts at other zoos that it can take a new Tamandua mother a while to develop maternal instincts, and first births of this species typically have low success rates,” says Denver Zoo Education Animal Programs Manager Kristin Smith. “We were determined, though, to make sure this baby would survive while Rio figured out how to be a good mom.”

Tamanduas are born following a 180 day gestation period. As her expected birth date approached, zookeepers provided Rio with a nest box that let her feel safe, yet still allowed zookeepers to monitor her status. Veterinarians regularly performed ultrasound examinations to measure the head and body size of the new baby as well to check both the mother and baby’s body condition. Zookeepers also slowly increased Rio’s diet based on her needs.

This is the first birth, not only for Rio, but also her mate, Quito. Rio was born in November 2004 at Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas and came to Denver Zoo in April 2005. Quito was born in August 2012 at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona and arrived atDenver Zoo in April 2013. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proven to be an excellent match. Cayenne was named after the capital of French Guiana, in keeping with the tradition of her parents being named after notable South American cities.

Read more after the fold.

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Baby Anteater Holds on Tight at Cotswold Wildlife Park

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Cotswold Wildlife Park in the UK has welcomed a Giant Anteater baby, born on February 16! The first-time mother and baby are both doing well. Mom, Zeta, has been very shy about showing off her offspring, but staff have still managed to snap some great photos. 

Four-year-old Zeta came to Cotswold Wildlife Park from Duisburg Germany. The father, five-year-old Zorro,  came from Colchester Zoo. The pair are the zoo' first Giant Anteaters, and have been at the zoo since 2010. The baby is a first both for the parents and for Coltswold Wildlife Park.

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4 anteaterPhoto credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park

Here's a shot of Zeta's tongue! Anteaters have no teeth, but use their long, sticky tongues to lap up ants and termites. Listed as a Vulnerable species, Giant Anteaters are native to Central and South America. 

Zoo Boise Welcomes Giant Anteater Pup

1898000_10152230444983116_48888409_nZoo Boise announced the December 8 birth of a Giant Anteater pup.  The female pup is now starting to explore the outdoors with her mother, Gloria. Because Giant Anteaters are native to warmer climates, mother and pup have spent the last few months in their heated barn. The pup will stay with her mother until she is full grown at about two years old.

1623192_10152230444893116_759460872_nPhoto Credit:  Monte Stiles

During their first year of life, Giant Anteater pups will spend much of their time riding on their mothers’ backs. Born with full coats of fur, the pups are able to blend in with their mothers’ coats to avoid predation.

Giant Anteaters are native to Central and South America.  They have no teeth, but use their long, sticky tongues to gather insects – often ants – by the thousands.  Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Baby Tamandua Hitches a Ride at Staten Island Zoo

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Staten Island Zoo in New York City shared with us the birth of a new Tamandua baby, born January 12. The male baby, MJ, was born to mother DJ and father EJ. He is doing well and is being raised by mom. 

Tamandua are a kind of anteater found in Central and South America west of the Andes. They have partially prehensile tails and spend much of their time in trees. Solitary animals, they are generally active at night, foraging in trees for food, mainly ants and termites. They have long tongues that can extend up to 16 inches (40 cm), but have no teeth to chew; instead, they have a gizzards that grind up food.

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2 tamoretPhoto credit: Steve Yensel (1-8) / Staten Island Zoo 

Both species of Tamandua, the Northern Tamandua and Southern Tamadua, are species of Least Concern on International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. 

See more photos after the fold!

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A Tiny Anteater is Big News at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is celebrating the birth of their first-ever Giant Anteater! The baby, whose sex is still undetermined, was born on exhibit on November 25 to mom, Pica, and dad, Kutter. The baby seems to be healthy and thriving. For now, animal care and veterinary staff are keeping their distance and giving mom and baby time to bond, as Pica is very protective of her newborn. (We're told it was even tricky to snap a few photos!) Now weighing about two pounds, the little Anteater will cling to mom's back for several weeks as it develops.

The successful birth of this tricky-to-care-for species was the result of careful collaboration between the zoo's conservation and science staff. To predict the optimal time to pair Pica with Kutter, staff sampled the hormones in Pica's urine. Further hormone monitoring allowed the zoo to confirm Pica’s pregnancy and make a reasonable prediction of when the birth might take place.

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3 anteaterPhoto credit: Cleveland Metropark Zoo

The baby Anteater is a welcome addition not just to the zoo, but to the managed nationwide population of Giant Anteaters as well. The zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Giant Anteaters, which are classified as Vulnerable in the wild. SSPs are cooperative breeding and management groups for endangered or threatened species such as Black Rhinos, African Elephants, Lowland Gorillas and Amur Tigers. 

Giant Anteaters are native to Central and South America and can eat tens of thousands of ants and termites in a single day with their long, sticky tongues. Full-grown males can measure up to 7 feet (2.13 m) long and weigh more than 100 pounds (45.36 kg). 

Giant Anteater Baby Boom Continues at Nashville Zoo

Anteater Pup - Heather Robertson

Gabana the baby Giant Anteater is part of an exciting baby boom at the Nashville Zoo:  He is the fifth Giant Anteater to be born at the zoo in the last 13 months.

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Photo Credit: Margarita WocCoburn

Nashville Zoo has been involved in Giant Anteater conservation for 15 years and has the largest collection of Anteaters in the country.  Gabana, who was born on November 16, is the first birth for mother Dolce, who was born at Nashville Zoo in 2011. Both mother and baby are doing well and living together in the off-exhibit Giant Anteater barn.

Giant Anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Giant Anteaters as Vulnerable, although they are Extirpated (locally Extinct) in parts of Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.