21 Oct 2011

The 11-week-old youngster, whose gender is not yet known, is the first of the species to be born at the zoo.

The baby will be named once keepers can get close enough to tell whether it is a boy or a girl.

Parents Pedro and Bliss, both aged two, arrived in 2010 as part of an international breeding programme.

All three have just moved into a new enclosure and will be visible in the coming weeks.

Anteater Facts

• The giant anteater is the world’s largest species of anteater.

• An individual may eat up to 30,000 ants in one day.

• It is one of only two types of mammals without any teeth even in adulthood.

• An anteater’s tongue can reach two feet in length, and is covered in a sticky saliva, allowing it to trap ants. It can extend and withdraw it up to 150 times per minute.

• Giant anteaters are predominantly solitary, except for mothers and their offspring. A single offspring is produced after a gestation period of 190 days.

They are carried on their mother’s back, aligned with the white stripe, so that they are very well camouflaged. Young are weaned after two months, although they may continue to be carried on their mother’s back until they are nine months old.

• The species is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.