Anteater

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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Baby Anteater at Roger Williams Park Zoo 2Photo credits: Roger Williams Park Zoo

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

2012.04.12 Tropics PM 40Photo credits: 1st and 3rd photos, Galen Sjostrom. 2nd photo Delaina Clementson.

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.


Visitors Witness Rare Giant Anteater Birth

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Visitors to Longleat Safari & Adventure Park in Wiltshire, UK had an unexpected surprise when they witnessed the arrival of a rare baby Giant Anteater. Choccy, as he’s been nicknamed by keepers, made his unscheduled appearance on March 9 in front of a stunned audience of onlookers. The tiny anteater’s arrival is particularly welcome as the species is officially listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

For the first six months mom Maroni will carry Choccy on her back virtually all the time. The baby takes milk by moving around underneath her and only very rarely lets go. The baby aligns itself to the pattern on mom'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 become invisible.

Giant Anteaters originate from South America and can be found in tropical and deciduous forests. As its name suggests the giant anteater is the largest of the anteater family and can grow to over two metres in length with tongues that extend to more than 60cm. Their long nose, tongue and sharp claws enable them to get to into ant and termite mounds, eating over 30,000 insects in a single day!

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Photo Credit: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park 

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New Baby Anteater for Brevard Zoo

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The Brevard Zoo in Florida has welcomed its first baby Giant Anteater. The little one, born on January 26 to mother Boo and dad Abner, will hitch a ride on mom's back for the first year of its life. The baby's gender is currently unknown.

“It’s very exciting for us because it’s the first time we’ve had a giant anteater born at the zoo,” said zoo marketing director Andrea Hill. Hills said they do not normally name new animals for about 30 days -- roughly the time it takes for them to adjust and be ready to go out on exhibit. Their group of anteaters are being kept off exhibit until they all adjust to the new baby.

Giant Anteaters are usually solitary mammals in the wild that come together to mate. An adult female gives birth to just one baby, called a pup. Pups are born with a full coat of hair; similar coloring helps the baby blend in so predators can't see it. 

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Photo Credit: Brevard Zoo


UPDATE: More Pics of Vienna's Baby Anteater

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Look who's new at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna! This baby giant anteater, named “Hombrecito” by his keepers, made his appearance into the world on November 27, after a gestation period of 190 days. As is typical for anteaters, the newborn climbed straight onto his mother Emilia’s back, looking just like a miniature version of her. His fur pattern is a perfect camouflage when he sits on her back. Right now he's not too heavy -- Hombrecito weighs barely three pounds (1.4 kg) and measures just 14 inches (35cm) from his nose to the tip of his tail.

“During the first period, the little one rides piggy-back. When his mother sleeps – and anteaters do sleep a lot – the little one snoozes well covered by her bushy tail. He also suckles in this position”, explains the Zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.  “The mother suckles her young for around six months. But it does not take him long to discover his parents mash which he licks up with the long tongue typical for this species” says Schratter. One day he'll be wolfing down up to five thousand insects - or grubs - per minute!

The father, Silva, moved to Vienna from Colchester Zoo only a year ago. 

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Photo Credits: Schönbrunn Zoo 

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Vienna Zoo is Booming with ZooBorns!

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A new arrival is delighting keepers at Austria's Zoo Vienna. On Sunday, the 27th of November, a baby Giant Anteater was born and dubbed 'Hombrecito' by zoo veterinarians. Immediately following the birth, mother and child were allowed much needed rest and privacy. Visitors are now able to see the little one clinging tightly to his mother's back.

Little Hombrecito weighs around 3 pounds and measures about 14 inches in length. His mother will nurse the pup for about six months. His coloration is so similar to his mothers that it provides an almost perfect camouflage for him when he is positioned on her back.

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Giant Anteaters are among the most endangered animal species in Central and South America. This uncommon captive birth is a testament to the success of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), of which Vienna Zoo is key participant.

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Hombrecito's birth was followed closely by the birth of a Vicuna calf, just three days later. Keepers believe this calf, the second Vicuna to be born at Vienna this year, is a female.

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Photo credits: Norbert Potensky


Giant Anteater Baby Hitches Year-Long Ride (On Mom)

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Late Friday night, Amsterdam's Atris Zoo welcomed its third baby Giant Anteater. The delivery took a little over an hour, after which the baby climbed on the back of its mother, where it will spend the better part of its first year of anteater life. The young are almost invisible to predators on their mothers' backs, as the stripes of mother and baby naturally blend together. 

Giant Anteaters have a remarkably long snout, a 60 inch tongue and long claws on the forelegs. The gestation period of the great anteater is about six months.

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Photo Credit: Ronald van Weeren

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Baby Anteaters Hitch a Ride... on Mom

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of two giant anteaters! The first, a male named Mochilo (above), was born on April 25 to mom Tiana. On May 6, mom Consuela gave birth to a female named Dulce, pictured below. Both babies are doing well and living with their mothers at the Zoo’s off-exhibit anteater breeding facility.

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The babies will ride on their mom's back for up to a year, intermittently spending some time on the ground as they grow. This is for several reasons - one is protection from predators. They camoflague themselves by lining their shoulder stripe up with the mother's. It's also a way to keep up with their mother, who can cover a lot of ground moving from one termite mound to another, consuming up to 30,000 termites in a day. Though they nurse for about 12 months, they begin to supplement their diets with what she eats.

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Photo Credit: Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo, in Nashville Tennessee, has been involved in giant anteater conservation for 13 years and has the largest collection of anteaters in the country. The off-exhibit breeding facility is the only one of its kind in the United States. 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, although it is considered extinct in areas of Belize,Costa Rica, Guatemala and Uruguay.


Jacksonville Zoo Welcomes a Baby Giant Anteater

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A Giant Anteater was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on February 22.  The mother (dam), named Stella-Abril, and her offspring are doing well.  Stella was born on April 28, 1997, and this is her fifth offspring since arriving at the Jacksonville Zoo on May 6, 1998.  Killroy, the father (sire), was born October 15, 1999 and arrived at the Zoo on August 16, 2000. This is the 15th Giant Anteater born at the Jacksonville Zoo. This was a highly anticipated birth, in part because veterinary and keeper staff had been performing routine ultrasounds, enabling close monitoring of fetal development. Stella was an excellent patient for these procedures, especially since they were completely voluntary and didn’t require any sedation--just a steady supply of ripe avocado.

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Photo credits: Jacksonville Zoo

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