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!


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.


Odelia takes a break from baby...

Photo credit: Palm Beach Zoo

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


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.



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


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.



Photo credit: Reid Park Zoo

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


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. 



Photo Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa

Corndog Delivers!

Baby Anteater Roger Williams Park Zoo 1

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.

Baby Giant Anteater Face Roger Williams Park Zoo 3

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


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!


Photo Credit: Longleat Safari & Adventure Park 

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New Baby Anteater for Brevard Zoo


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. 



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. 





Photo Credits: Schönbrunn Zoo 

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