Giant anteater pup is latest addition to zoo family
A new addition to the Blackpool Zoo family has been unveiled - its first ever giant anteater pup
Proud parents, six-year-old Andina and Eskil, had their first baby at the end of July and the youngster can now be seen hitching a ride on its mother’s back.
Although the species is called the Giant Anteater, the pup weighs just 2kg and is around 50cm long from the tip of its impressive snout to the end of its already magnificent bushy tail!
Mum Andina is looking after her baby, and keepers are yet to discover if the pup is a boy or girl.
He's already displaying some of the animals' distinctive markings - the eye-catching black and white diagonal stripes on dense, shaggy hair.
Adam Kenyon, section head of large mammals at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We suspected that Andina was pregnant and we were delighted to find the little pup on the morning of July 26 when we did our early morning checks.
“The gestation period is around 180 days and for the next six to 12 months the adorable little one will be riding round on its mother’s back, which is such a lovely sight to see.
“Due to its unique markings it can be difficult to see it at first but a few visitors have already spotted our new addition!
“It is the first time we have ever had a giant anteater pup born at Blackpool Zoo and we are all hoping that this little one is the first of many.”
Giant anteaters hail from the swamps, grasslands and humid forests of areas from Southern Belize to northern Argentina and they are the last living species to have evolved on South America when it was an isolated continent.
The species is the most threatened in South America and in some parts of the continent there has not been a sighting for many years.