Anteater

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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Check Out that Tongue!

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Only three days ago we brought you news that the San Francisco Zoo had welcomed a happy and healthy baby Giant Anteater. Well we can't get enough of the long-schnozzed and even longer tongued little critter. These exceptional images were taken by May Woon, a San Francisco Zoo member and volunteer photographer. If you live anywhere in the Bay Area, or have been looking for an excuse to visit, we suggest you make the trip ASAP.

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Check out that tongue!!! 4Photo credits: May Woon

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Baby Anteater Clings Tight to the Mom-Mobile

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For the first time in 10 years the San Francisco Zoo has welcomed a baby Giant Anteater. Mom proudly carried her youngster into the exhibit this past Thursday for the public and press. The infant was born on December 22, 2010 and has been bonding with its mother over the last four weeks. Both mom and infant are doing extremely well and the two will spend the next few months in the front yard area, until the baby is more independent. The sex of the infant is not yet known. Growing up to 7 feet long, Giant Anteaters are solitary animals that roam through Central and South America. They are vulnerable to extinction due to habitat destruction.

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Baby Anteater close-up at the San Francisco Zoo 2Photo credits: First and second photo - Marianne Hale. Third photo - Eric Krussman


National Zoo's Anteater Pup Thrives after Rocky Start

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On the evening of December 7, keepers at the Smithsonian National Zoo could see on the internal web cam that Giant Anteater Maripi (who gave birth in March of '09) seemed at long last to be in labor. At about 7:30 she gave birth to her pup, and within half an hour the baby had climbed up on its mother’s back, and all seemed to be proceeding normally. Maripi is an experienced mom, so when she curled up in her crate with the pup a little while later and stayed there, zoo officials all felt that she had the situation in hand. As with most animals Giant Anteaters prefer to give birth in solitude since that equals safety in the wild. Unless they saw that Maripi was in distress or wasn’t caring for the baby, their plan was to leave the two of them alone. They called it a night at 10 p.m. and looked forward to meeting their newest anteater in the morning...

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5334247104_9f4ef0fb9f_oPhoto credits: Mehgan Murphy / Smithsonian's National Zoo

When keepers arrived in the morning, the baby was laying on the floor and cold to the touch! Go below the fold for many more [PHOTOS] and to finish the story of Maripi's pup's birth as told by keeper Marie Magnuson!

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