Tamandua Pup a Win for Threatened Species at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 8, 2021 2:10 pm

Tamandua Pup San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A southern tamandua pup born on July 21st 2021 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park clings to the back of first time mother, Cora

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park have introduced a southern tamandua infant born to first time mother Cora on July 21st 2021. Southern tamandua are at risk in the wild from habitat loss and as such each birth is seen as a win for preserving the species.

Cora’s pup is a female and is yet to be named. Wildlife specialists say the youngster is currently healthy and that Cora has quickly taken to being a mother proving highly attentive and is often seen grooming or nursing the baby.

The father of the pup is Fernando. Tamandua are solitary and only come together to mate so he is not involved in raising the pup.

“We are elated to have this little pup in our care,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “Both mom and pup are doing very well—and Cora is an attentive mom, keeping her pup nestled in their den the majority of the time, but venturing outside for up to an hour some days.”

Tamandua Pup San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The eastern massasauga rattlesnake hatchlings at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

It’s an easy start to life for a baby tamandua. Initially they are carried on the mother’s back as she moves through her home.

“It is great to see the pup developing, using her strong claws to cling to Cora’s back with confidence as Cora climbs about the habitat,” added Peterson.

Currently the pup is feeding on milk provided by Cora but between 2 and 3 months old will start to try out foods such as worms.

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Southern tamandua are also known as lesser anteaters and come from the forests of South America. Each day they forage through their habitat using their long tongue to pick up as many as 9,000 ants each day. Their thick coat of fur helps to protect them from the bite of an ant.

They may also be known as the stinkers of the forest due to the unpleasant odor they emit when threatened.

Tamandua are threatened in the wild through habitat loss but remain listed as least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Red List of Threatened Species.

This birth is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Southern Tamandua Species Survival Plan(SSP), designed to help maintain a healthy assurance population of this species. The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance welcomed another birth of a tamandua earlier this year at the San Diego Zoo.

Tamandua Pup San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A southern tamandua pup born on July 21st 2021 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park clings to the back of first time mother, Cora

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Currently Cora and her pup are housed in an off-display area of the park. They will remain their for at least another 2 months. Guests may then have a chance to meet them on a behind the scenes safari or up close during an unscheduled wildlife presentation inside the Safari Park.

Learn more about Tamanduas here – Tamandua Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on their website – San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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