The New Baby Giant Anteater at Cotswold Wildlife Park
Cotswold Wildlife Park is proud to announce that the first Giant Anteater to be born at the park has now arrived! The above picture shows the new pup, yet to be named.
Both mother and baby are currently healthy in their enclosure next to the Children’s Farmyard.
Born on 16th February 2014, the pup is the result of first-time parents Zorro and Zeta's successful pairing. Zorro and Zeta first arrived at the Cotswold Wildlife Park in 2010.
Zeta has good parenting skills, although she remains shy, as Anteaters are generally solitary creatures. Giant Anteaters give birth to a single pup, once per year. Their gestation length is typically around 190 days. Once born, the pup will cling to their mother's back for around 6 months. One of Cotswold Wildlife Park's keepers managed to film a rare moment when the pup briefly stood on its own four feet. The video can be seen on the Park’s YouTube channel, HERE.
Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park, Jamie Craig, commented: “It is always exciting for us to breed a species for the first time, and especially so in this case as the anteaters are such interesting creatures. The baby is a miniature version of the adults and is already exploring from the safety of its mother’s back, where it clings tenaciously with its already powerful claws.”
Giant Anteaters are classified as Vulnerable according to the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species.
Facts about Anteaters
- Anteaters, also known as the ‘Ant Bear’, are found in Central and South America.
- The four different species of Anteater vary greatly in size, with the smallest being the Silky Anteater, about the size of a Squirrel.
- The Giant Anteater is the largest of the four species, growing up to 7 feet (2.1 meters) in length.
- If cornered, an Anteater can rear up on its hind legs, using the tail for balance, and lash out with dangerous claws and has been known to fight off even a Puma or Jaguar.
- Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí was a great fan of Anteaters. He was once photographed in Paris taking his pet Anteater for a walk.
Cotswold Wildlife Park opens its doors at 10am every day, with last admission at 4.30pm