Anteater

Meet Warsaw Zoo's Baby Giant Anteater!

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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. 

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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:

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How does a Giant Anteater pup yawn? Like this!

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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.

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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


Watch Out for That Tongue! Baby Anteater Debuts at St. Louis Zoo

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Who's that draped across her mother’s back? Blending in with the stripes and long hair is Sabia (pronounced sah-BEE-ya), a baby Giant Anteater born at the Saint Louis Zoo on August 14. She just made her public debut with Mom in early November.

With a long snout and black-and-white stripes, she’s a miniature version of her parents – mother Wendy, age 15, born at Phoenix Zoo and father Willie, age 11, born at Oklahoma City Zoo. This is the second baby for the parents, whose first was born in 2005. She weighed just 3 pounds (453 grams) at birth but is growing nicely, nursing from mom as she will for a total of 6 months. In the video below you get a look at her very long tongue, which she will use once she begins to eat.... ants!The tongue of an anteater will extend up to two feet to capture their prey.

Giant Anteaters are in danger of extinction in the wild. They've disappeared from most of their historic range in Central America -- victims of habitat loss. In South America, these animals are often hunted as trophies or captured by animal dealers.

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Photo Credit: Rachael Macy/St. Louis Zoo 

Adult Giant Anteaters are the largest of the four Anteater species and can grow up to be 50 inches long, adding 25 to 35 inches of fan-like tail. After a pregnancy of six months, anteaters give birth to a single baby who will stay with the mother until it reaches maturity - for up to two years. The newborn must learn to crawl up on the mother’s back to rest while mom looks for food. Adult giant anteaters will eat up to 30,000 ants in one day. 

 

Meet Delilah - The Giant Anteater Pup!

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Meet the newest addition to the Palm Beach Zoo's family! Delilah was born about 6 weeks ago and weights just over 6lbs. She was born to proud giant Anteater parents, Cruz & Odelia. The Palm Beach Zoo currently holds the second largest collection of Giant Anteaters in Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facilities. Delilah will not be available for public view for a few more months - stay tuned for updates on her progress.

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Odelia takes a break from baby...

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Photo credit: Palm Beach Zoo


My, what a long snout you have! Giant Anteater born at Nashville Zoo

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The largest Giant Anteater group in the United States, located at the Nashville Zoo, just got a little bigger with the birth of a male baby on September 19. The pup brings the total number of Giant Anteaters at the zoo to 12.

Once found throughout the northern two-thirds of South America and much of Central America, Giant Anteaters are believed to be extinct in portions of Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.  They remain Vulnerable to extinction in the rest of their range.  “Nashville Zoo is a leader in conservation efforts to save Giant Anteaters from extinction,” said Connie Philipp, mammal curator at the Zoo.

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This is the third birth for mother Emilia, a wild-caught Anteater from Paraguay. Baby Anteaters typically cling to their mothers’ backs for several months, gradually becoming more independent.

Giant Anteaters' unique tubular rostrums and 24-inch-long tongues are specially designed for slurping up ants and termites.  Insect nests are torn open with sturdy, curved claws and up to 300,000 insects are gobbled up in a single day!

Photo Credit:  Aimee Stubbs


Tamandua Baby Body Slams His Teddy Bear Buddy

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No, Quito the baby Lesser Anteater (Tamandua) isn't training for Wrestlemania, he's actually just gripping his stuffed bear for stability while Reid Park Zoo vets give him a routine check up. The rest of the time, Quito attaches firmly to mom Lety. Born August 30, little Quito is the newest of 51 Southern Tamanduas in captivity across 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions.

Tamandua are a species of Anteater native to much of South America. It has been reported that Amazonian Indians keep them in their homes for Ant and Termite control! While their diet is the same as their relative the Giant Anteater, Tamandua are able to search for their food high in the trees, so there are plenty of Ants and Termites to go around.

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Photo credit: Reid Park Zoo


Hang On! It's a New Baby Anteater for Busch Gardens

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A baby Anteater was born in June at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Keepers are not yet sure if the little one is male or female but once they are able to identify the gender, it will be named. Just over a month old, the pup currently weighs less than 5 pounds (2.26 kg) but will grow up to weigh more than 100 pounds (45 kg) -- just like its parents, Adelhi (mother) and Buddy (father).

Anteater babies nurse for six months and are carried on their mothers’ backs for up to a year. The baby is born with a full coat of fur and its color, texture and pattern almost completely blends in; by these means it's protected from predators. Once an adult, this newborn will use its 4-inch-long (10 cm) claws to open termite mounds. There its 2-foot-long (.60 m) tongue will come in handy, extending up to 150 times a minute to eat as many as 35,000 termites and ants per day!

Giant Anteaters are called so because they are the largest of the Anteater family. Found in the grasslands and lowland tropical forests in Central and South America, they are listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN due to loss of that habitat, and hunting. Only 5,000 animals estimated to remain in the wild. 

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Photo Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa


Corndog Delivers!

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Keepers at Roger Williams Park Zoo were overjoyed April 5 when they checked in on their resident female Giant Anteater, Corndog, and discovered she had given birth to a healthy baby. Veterinary staff had been tracking the baby's development with weekly ultrasound exams and this delivery was right on schedule with their predictions. 

The first six months of life can be very challenging for baby Anteaters, so animal care staff are watching the pup's progress closely. However, so far all is well with the long-nosed youngster, who weighed 2.75 lbs five days after birth. In these photos, Zoo staff provided the baby with a stuffed animal to cling to for comfort during a medical exam.

Starting next week, Corndog will be allowed to venture outside with her baby for fresh air whenever she likes. Visitors will likely be able to see the baby clinging to the fur on mom's back, where the pup will remain for most of its first year of life.

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Corndog was born in January 2006 at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California, and came to Roger Williams Park Zoo last year from the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana. The father, Johei, was born in 2006 at the San Diego Zoo and was the first resident in the Zoo’s Giant Anteater exhibit which was completed in 2007.

Corndog was selected to come to Roger Williams Park Zoo to be bred with Johei based on recommendations made by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Giant Anteaters, native to grassland and lowland tropical forests in Central and South America, are listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN due to loss of habitat and hunting. It is estimated that only 5,000 animals remain in the wild. Giant Anteaters have a sense of smell that is 40 times as powerful as a human’s to help them locate ant colonies.  They use their 4 inch long claws to rip open termite mounds and their 2 foot long tongues move up to 150 times per minute as they each consume up to 35,000 termites and ants per day.


Baby Tamandua Time - A First for the Minnesota Zoo!

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The Minnesota Zoo is thrilled to announce the  rare birth of a Southern Tamandua (pronounced tah-man-do-ah) infant. It is the first Tamandua ever born at the Zoo.  

Born April 8, the Tamandua – a female – has been spending time bonding with her mom in their exhibit on the Tropics Trail. She weighs just under one pound; zoo keepers are still deciding on a name. There are just 30 Tamanduas in AZA-accredited institutions in North America. 

Baby Tamandua with Mom at Minnesota Zoo

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Also known as Lesser Anteaters, Southern Tamanduas have long, curved snouts and long arms that end in sharp claws. Well-designed to take advantage of the abundance of insects living in the rainforest, their thick, coarse fur helps keep ants from biting their skin.  They eat ants, termites, grubs, bees, and honey. Tamanduas can be found in a variety of tropical habitats, from rain forests to arid savannas, and are commonly found near rivers and streams. Clumsy on the ground, these animals spend most of their time in trees, using their long tails to grab branches while climbing. Sometimes called “the stinkers of the forest,” Tamanduas give off a strong smell to mark their territory and scare away other animals.