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.  


Anteater Pup Holds On Tight at Marwell Wildlife

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Marwell Wildlife in the UK is celebrating its first successful Giant Anteater birth and you can help name the pup! The youngster was born to first-time mom Chiquita early November and weighs just three pounds. Check in here with the zoo's FaceBook page over the next few days for an opportunity to vote on your favorite name, and maybe win a family ticket to the zoo. 

Giant Anteaters are native to South America and are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. Females normally give birth to one baby after a gestation period of 190 days. Anteater pups cling to their mother's back or legs while they are young, and sometimes continue to do so for up to a year. The pup, still nursing for now, will begin to start eating solids at around three months old.

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4 anteaterPhoto credits: Marwell Wildlife

Mother and baby are currently spending a lot of their time indoors and are enjoying the heaters in their den during the cold weather. They are difficult for visitors to see at the moment. However, animal teams are keeping an eye on the pair, and the two will move to a more visible position in a couple of weeks. 

Shelly Parkes, collection manager at Marwell Zoo said, “We are so proud to see Chiquita carrying the baby as it hitches a ride across her back and demonstrating maternal instincts, as it’s her first pup. She seems content and we can hear the pup feeding and occasionally whistling as it talks to mum.”

Chiquita, who is two years old, arrived at the zoo nine months ago from Warsaw. When she met the zoo's resident male Ernesto, the pair clicked. 

Ernesto, who is nine years old, had previously been unlucky in love. Ernesto’s first mate was described to Marwell as a female but when the new mate arrived the pair didn’t mix well. On closer inspection Marwell Zoo staff realized they had been sent a male Anteater instead of a female! This is an easy mistake to make as an Anteater’s gender is notoriously difficult to determine.

The new baby will be given a health check once Chiquita is settled and the sex of the pup will be determined when it is older.

Nashville Zoo’s Giant Anteater Collection Continues To Grow

Anteater Pup - Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a male Giant Anteater on July 17. For the Zoo, the newest addition is the fourth pup born in the past 10 months. Both mother and baby are doing well and living together in the off-exhibit Giant Anteater barn.

“We now have 15 Giant Anteaters at Nashville Zoo which is the largest collection in North America,” says Rick Schwartz, Zoo President. “While they are not currently on public display, we do hope to change than in the future. In the meantime, we will continue to learn more about this little known and threatened species both in captivity and in the wild.”

Anteater Pup w Mother - Amiee Stubbs

Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs

Giant Anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Giant Anteater as vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting. Giant Anteaters are considered extinct in areas of Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.

Giant Anteater Is Latest Arrival at Howletts

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Riding on mom’s back, a baby Giant Anteater is the latest arrival at the United Kingdom’s Howletts Wild Animal Park.

Baby giant anteater at Howletts Wild Animal Park 2 c Dave Rolfe

Baby giant anteater at Howletts Wild Animal Park c Dave Rolfe
Photo Credit:  Dave Rolfe


Joel Bunce, head of the zoo’s hoofstock section, said: “We were delighted with this latest arrival. It’s been a long time since we had a Giant Anteater birth and this little one is getting on really well.”

The baby was born to female Fidgi and male Zet. According to zoo keepers, both are providing excellent care to their newborn.

Giant Anteaters are native to South America and females normally give birth to one baby at a time, after a gestation period of 190 days. Young are carried on their mother’s back and they may stay with their mothers for up to two years. Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Though their range extends from Honduras to Argentina, they are extirpated (regionally extinct) in some countries due to overhunting and habitat loss. 

Giant Anteater Born at Zoo Berlin


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.



Photo Credit Zoo Berlin

Rare Southern Tamandua Born at Buffalo Zoo


A group of Southern Tamanduas was imported to the United States last August as part of an effort to bolster the population in US zoos.  A pair named Olive and Brutus were placed at the Buffalo Zoo.

Not much is known about the reproductive behaviors of this species, but Olive and Brutus had their first pup on April 7.  The male baby, named Otis, is strong, alert and very vocal.  

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Photo Credit:  Kelly Brown

Zoo keepers report that Olive is a very attentive mother and though she is protective of her baby, she is calm around her keepers.  Every morning, the baby can be seen clinging onto his mom’s back as she makes her way down to the feeding pans for her breakfast. He has no problem letting mom know when she is not by his side!

Southern Tamanduas are native to much of South America, but they are becoming rare.  These ant- and termite-eating mammals are expert diggers, and are able to extract insects with their long tongues.


Meet Warsaw Zoo's Baby Giant Anteater!


Poland’s Warsaw Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby Giant Anteater.  The male baby was born on January 18, and is the fourth baby for the zoo’s breeding pair. 



Photo credits:  Warsaw Zoo

Female Giant Anteaters normally give birth to a single pup, which is born with its eyes closed.   A pup rides on its mother’s back for several months.  This offers not only free transportation for the pup, but excellent camouflage as well:  the pup’s black and tan color bands line up perfectly with those of the mother, making the pup nearly invisible against mom's shaggy coat.  By the time the pup is about ten months old, it is completely independent.

Native to much of South America, Giant Anteaters exploit a variety of habitats, from grasslands to rain forests.  They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN), but they have been extirpated from parts of Uruguay, Belize, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.  In the last decade, the population of wild Giant Anteaters has declined by about 30%.

Chester Zoo's New Baby Anteater Hitches a Ride

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A rare baby Giant Anteater was born at Chester Zoo on December 23. The tiny baby, whose gender is not yet known, is only the second of the species to ever be born at the zoo. The baby will cling to its mother’s back for approximately six months until it is ready to walk, explore and find food on its own. Parents Pedro and Bliss, both aged three, arrived in 2010 as part of an international breeding program.

Team Manager David White said, “Bliss is a very good mum and is so far doing an excellent job of looking after her new arrival. She’s obviously very proud of her newborn and has, every now and again, been parading around and showing off to our visitors. Seeing the youngster clinging tightly to her tail is quite the sight!”

Giant Anteaters are classed as Vulnerable to extinction by conservationists, so the birth is good news for the unusual looking species. Native to Central and South America, the animals do not have teeth but have tongues which can measure up to almost 24 inches (over half a meter) long!

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Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Find Giant Anteater facts just after the fold:

Continue reading "Chester Zoo's New Baby Anteater Hitches a Ride" »

How does a Giant Anteater pup yawn? Like this!


Early in the morning on September 27, female Giant Anteater Zoe delivered a healthy baby at the Reid Park Zoo.  After allowing the first-time mom and her new baby to spend some quiet time together, the two are now delighting crowds while they are on exhibit every afternoon.

A naming contest among zoo fans resulted in the winning name of Zola for the female baby. Her father’s name is Xander.



Baby Giant Anteaters, called pups, are carried on their mothers’ backs for the first several months of life.  They become independent at around 10 months.

Giant Anteaters are native to South America, where they live in a variety of habitats from grasslands to rain forests.  After breaking open ant and termite mounds with their huge, curved claws, they collect the insects with their long, sticky tongues. 

In parts of their South American range, Giant Anteaters are abundant, while in other areas they have been completely eradicated.  Because of these regional extirpations, Giant Anteaters are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. 

Photo Credit:  Reid Park Zoo