• Tamandua born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    TACOMA, Wash. - A southern tamandua was born Sunday night at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – the first in the zoo's 114-year history.

    The tamandua is a small, arboreal species of anteater that is native to South America, zoo officials said.

    Zoo officials said full-grown southern tarmanduas have a long, slender nose and an 18-inch long tongue that helps them scoop out termites and other insects. 

    The zoo said the tamandua is healthy, weighs just over half a pound and is about the size of an avocado. 

    "Mom (Terra) and baby are both doing well," Maureen O'Keefe, Wild Wonders senior staff biologist, said in a news release. 

    Zoo officials said the father, Gonzo, will stay separate from Terra as she nurses the baby for the first two months. 

    The baby tamandua will stay close by  Terra for the first six months and will make its public debut when it is strong and confident enough, zoo officials said.

    The zoo's head veterinarian, Dr. Karen Wolf, said determining the sex of the baby will have to wait until it gets bigger. 

    "It's so exciting to see a tamandua pup here at the zoo," said Natalie Davis, curator of land animals. "Our keepers and veterinary team have done a wonderful job of caring for and monitoring Terra during her pregnancy."

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