Brookfield Zoo is kicking off the New Year with some “giant” news on their latest arrival.
A giant anteater pup was born Nov. 15 to the zoo’s Giant Anteater pair Tulum and Lupito.
The 2-month-old pup can be seen with mom, Tulum in the zoo’s Tropic World: South America habitat on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, according to Brookfield Zoo. Lupito, the sire can be seen on the other days of the week.
This is the second Giant Anteater birth at Brookfield zoo and the second offspring for the pair, who both arrived at the zoo in 2014.
Tulum and Lupito became first-time parents to another female pup, Tapas who was born in May 2015. Tapas now resides at Pittsburg Zoo. The Chicago Zoological Society’s veterinary and animal care staff monitored both the mom and the offspring during Tulum’s pregnancies.
Anteaters eat ants and termites in the wild, but while at the zoo their diet consists of “insectivores that contains the nutrients they need,” said Sondra Katzen, Director of Public Relations, Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo. The mix is of “a porridge-like consistency. They also get canned cat food. In addition, they receive crickets and worms and are very fond of avocados, which are mushed up so they can slurp it up.”
Giant anteaters are considered a vulnerable species in their native habitat of Honduras, Brazil, and Argentina. There are only about 5,000 in the wild, according to research and 117 being cared for in 56 accredited North American zoos.
Giant Anteater Facts:
– At birth, a pup is born with a full coat of hair and, for the first several months, hitches a ride on its mother’s back.
– Similar coloring between the mom and pup provide protection and act as a camouflage.
– By adulthood, the anteater’s coat will turn dark gray with black and white shoulder stripes
– Giant Anteaters typically weigh anywhere between 40 to 100 pounds
– Giant Anteater defining features include a long, narrow head; a two-foot-long tongue, which allows them to eat thousands of ants and termites a day; and a long, bushy tail