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.
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.