Anteater

Royally Giant Baby Debuts at Cotswold Wildlife Park

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A Giant Anteater baby made his debut at Cotswold Wildlife Park. The pup, named Nelson, is the second breeding success for parents Zorro and Zeta since their arrival at the Burford Collection in 2010. Keepers named the newborn after the late singer, Prince Rogers Nelson.

Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, commented, “Zeta has again proved to be an excellent and diligent mother. We are extremely proud of her here at the Park and it is great to see another healthy baby growing rapidly and exploring his surroundings from the safety of his mother's rather formidable back!” 2_Nelson asleep

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4_Nelson looking at camera on Zeta's backPhoto/Video Credits: Cotswold Wildlife Park

 

 

Giant Anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) are the largest of the four Anteater species and boast one of the most fascinating tongues in the animal kingdom. They are specialist predators of termites and ants and may consume tens of thousands of these tiny nutritious insects every day. Anteaters are edentate animals; they have no teeth. Ant and termite nests are ripped open with their powerful claws, and the tongue acts as animated flypaper. These tongues can protrude more than 2 feet (60 cm) to capture prey. Ants possess a painful sting when attacked, so Anteaters have to eat quickly. They do so by flicking their tongue up to 160 times per minute to avoid being stung. An Anteater may spend only a minute feasting on each mound. They never destroy a nest, preferring to return and feed again in the future.

Anteaters are generally solitary animals, except during the mating season. After a gestation period of around 190 days, the female produces a single pup, which weighs approximately 1.3kg. The female gives birth standing up and the young Anteater immediately climbs onto her back. The young are born with a full coat of hair and adult-like markings, aligning with their mother’s camouflaging. A mother will carry the baby on her back for approximately 6 to 9 months (until it is almost half her size). The young suckle for 2 to 6 months and become independent after roughly 2 years, or when the mother becomes pregnant again.

Giant Anteaters are prey for Jaguars and Pumas in the wild. They typically flee from danger by galloping away, but if cornered, they use their immense front claws to defend themselves, rearing up on their hind legs, striking their attacker violently with their powerful claws and are capable of inflicting fatal wounds to predators.

The Giant Anteater is considered to be the most threatened mammal of Central America and is feared extinct in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Uruguay, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Giant Anteaters are listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat loss, roadkills, hunting and wildfires have substantially affected their population numbers over the last ten years. Scientists estimate that 5,000 individuals are left in the wild.

Visitors can see Cotswold’s Anteater family in the enclosure they share with the Capybaras and Crested Screamers– species also native to Central and South America.

More great pics, below the fold!

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Giant of a Baby for Nashville Zoo

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A male Giant Anteater, named Demetrio, was born on April 6 at the Nashville Zoo. The pup weighed in at 3.8 lbs. and is currently being raised by his mother in the Zoo’s off-exhibit facility.

This is the second pup for this mother, and the 17th successful Giant Anteater birth at Nashville Zoo, since they acquired this species in 2000.

There are a total of 111 Giant Anteaters housed in Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) zoos across the country. Giant anteaters are listed as “Vulnerable” on the ICUN Red List, with the population declining 30% over the past 10 years due to habitat loss and deaths by fire and vehicular traffic.

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4_IMG_8310Photo Credits: Nashville Zoo

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the Ant Bear, 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. The giant anteater is the largest of its family, 182–217 cm (5.97–7.12 ft.) in length, with weights of 33–41 kg (73–90 lb.) for males and 27–39 kg (60–86 lb.) for females. It is recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore claws, and distinctively colored pelage.

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.

Though Giant Anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.

Giant anteaters can mate throughout the year. A couple may stay together for up to three days and mate several times during that period. Gestation lasts around 190 days and ends with the birth of a single pup, which typically weighs around 1.4 kg (3.1 lb.). Females give birth standing upright.

Pups are born with eyes closed and begin to open them after six days. The mother carries the pup on her back, and while doing so, the pup's black and white band aligns with its mother's stripe, providing an amazing camouflage for the baby.

The young communicate with their mothers with sharp whistles and use their tongues during nursing. After three months, the pup begins to eat solid food and is fully weaned by ten months. The mother grooms her offspring during rest periods lasting up to an hour. Grooming peaks during the first three months and declines as the young reaches nine months of age, ending by ten months, when young anteaters usually become independent.

Not only does the Nashville Zoo have success breeding these animals, but the facility is currently involved in numerous projects that include monitoring reproductive status in female Giant Anteaters by fecal hormone analysis, performing ultra-sonographic exams to monitor fetal development, and undertaking intensive diet studies. Nashville Zoo is currently writing the AZA’s husbandry manual for this species.


Tiny Tamandua Arrives at Nashville Zoo

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A baby Southern Tamandua born March 22 at the Nashville Zoo will help to bolster the zoo-dwelling population of this unique species.

The baby, a female, is the first birth for mother Ke$ha.  Because it was Ke$ha’s first pregnancy, keepers monitored her baby’s growth with regular ultrasounds.  She was also pampered with extra attention and a special diet. 

Tamandua - Heather RobertsonPhoto Credit:  Heather Robertson/Nashville Zoo

The tiny Tamandua, which weighed less than half a pound at birth, is the ninth born at the Nashville Zoo. Her birth is significant because the reproductive rate for this species is low in zoos.  Only 45 Southern Tamanduas live in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums in North America.

The Nashville Zoo is writing the animal care manual for Southern Tamanduas, which will be used as a reference by AZA zoos across North America. 

Southern Tamanduas are native to South America, where they feed on ants, termites, and bees.  Insect nests are ripped open with powerful front claws, and Tamanduas suck up insects with their 16-inch-long tongue. 

Though these animals are found over a wide area, they are not common.  Southern Tamanduas are currently listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Belfast Zoo Unveils a New ‘Giant’

1_(1)  BIG news at Belfast Zoo with ‘GIANT’ arrival!

Belfast Zoo welcomed a baby Giant Anteater on December 22, 2015! This endangered South American mammal was born to parents, Pancho and Kara, and the Zoo is asking for your help to name the special arrival.

Pancho arrived in Belfast from Duisburg Zoo (Germany), in 2012, and was joined by Kara from Olomouc Zoo, in February 2015, as part of the European breeding programme. There are only 200 Giant Anteaters living in zoos around the world and Pancho and Kara are the only breeding pair in Ireland!

Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns, said, “We are all delighted to welcome a new member to the zoo family. Kara is a fantastic mum and for the first six months she will carry the pup on her back nearly all the time. While this is great camouflage from predators, it also makes it extremely difficult for the keepers to get a good look at the infant to find out whether it is male or female and we don’t want to disrupt the pair at this stage. Even though we don’t know what sex the pup is, the team have come up with some names and we would love your help to pick one!"

You can help to name the Zoo’s latest arrival by voting for one of the names pre-selected by Keepers. Place your vote at: http://woobox.com/vrr9jp.

2_(5)  Kara is a fantastic mum and for the first six months she will carry the pup on her back nearly all the time.

3_(2)  Belfast Zoo welcomed a baby giant anteater on 22 December 2016!

4_(3)  You can help name the zoo's latest arrival.  Visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk for more information.Photo Credits: Belfast Zoo

As the name suggests, the Giant Anteater is the world’s biggest anteater species and can grow up to seven feet in length.   In Central and South America, they live in the grasslands and rainforests. While this species was once widespread, today their numbers vary drastically between countries. They are considered one of the most threatened mammals in Central America. In fact, in Brazil, there are serious concerns because, in some areas where they once roamed, there are now none left.

Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns, continued, “Giant Anteater populations have declined by 30% between 2000 and 2010, showing how vulnerable the species is. Our latest arrival is not only cause for celebration for Belfast Zoo and the breeding programme but also for Giant Anteater conservation as a whole. Giant Anteaters are unquestionably one of the most unusual looking species. They have a long snout, long hair, a large bushy tail and a long tongue, which is approximately 50 centimeters in length! They use their tongue to mop up insects and can eat up to 30,000 insects in a single day! We have no doubt that the newest arrival is going to be a popular addition with both staff and visitors.”

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Giant Anteater Birth Is a First for Prague Zoo

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Prague Zoo is celebrating yet another breeding success. On January 20, a baby Giant Anteater was born. For Prague Zoo it is the first baby anteater born in its breeding history. The proud parents are mom, Ella, and dad, Hannibal, who arrived at the zoo in summer 2014.

A baby Giant Anteater is truly an exceptional sight; it looks like a miniature version of its parents, and spends the first few weeks on its mother's back. When visitors carefully focus on the mom Ella, they will see the small anteater holding firmly on to her.

1 1IMG_9806_exportPhoto Credits: Prague Zoo /Petr Hamerník (Image 1) and Miroslav Bobek (Image 2)

Ella and Hannibal came to Prague Zoo in 2014, after a twelve-year break in the breeding of Giant Anteaters. Ella comes from Warsaw, and Hannibal from Madrid. They both grew accustomed to their new environment quite quickly, but it took roughly three months for them to bond. A certain role in this may also have been played by the fact that, in nature, male anteaters are normally larger than females, but for the Prague pair it was the opposite case. Ella, who is now three years old, was roughly one quarter larger than Hannibal when she arrived, and weighed ten kilograms more, even though they are both the same age.

Ella takes exemplary care of her baby, and, when she feels danger, actively defends it. The baby anteater currently weighs 1,990 grams (4.4 lb), and is doing well. Starting February 5, visitors to Prague Zoo have been able to see him in the ‘Exhibition of Giant Anteaters’.

For now, the mother and baby spend most of their time in the nesting box, which will remain covered for some time. Visitors will have the greatest chance of seeing them when Ella walks to the exhibition next door, where she gets fed around noon.

Giant Anteaters arrived in Prague Zoo in the 1950s, but attempts to breed them always ended in failure. That is why this year's baby is a huge success, and the breeders themselves are, obviously, extremely happy with the birth.

The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), also known as the Ant Bear, 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.

Giant Anteaters have a very peculiar appearance. Their tubular snout conceals a long, sticky tongue up to 60 cm long. They specialize in collecting social insects, especially termites and ants, of which they can consume up to 30 thousand a day (in the zoo they are fed a special mash). They rake apart hard termite mounds using their strong, long claws.

The Giant Anteater is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN: “Myrmecophaga tridactyla is at risk from habitat loss in parts of its range, and this is a significant threat to Central American populations in particular. Where this species inhabits grassland habitats it is particularly susceptible to fires. In Brazil, burning of sugar cane plantations prior to their harvest leads to the death of significant numbers of giant anteaters due to severe burn injuries (F. Miranda pers. comm. 2013). Animals are sometimes killed on roads or by dogs. Giant anteaters are hunted for food throughout their distribution, and are additionally hunted as a pest, for pets or for illegal trade in some parts of their range.”

“It has been recorded from many protected areas. It is listed on several national Red Data lists, and is protected as a national heritage species in some provinces in Argentina. There is a need to improve fire management practices, especially in sugarcane plantations and within the regions of grassland habitat occupied by this species. Population and genetic data, as well as habitat use information, are needed, especially for areas that are being subjected to land use change. A reintroduction program is being carried out in Corrientes province, Argentina.”


Giant Anteater Sticks to Mom Like Velcro

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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.  

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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

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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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4_11760212_1003863489654570_2895968901775459719_nPhoto Credits: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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_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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“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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