A Rare Giant Anteater Is Born

England's Chester Zoo calls it 'incredibly positive news for the species'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2023 1:10 PM CDT

A giant anteater in the UK has a significant weight to carry, and not just because it represents an endangered species. The captive female anteater has birthed a rare baby, who will spend the next 10 months clinging to its mother's back, where the BBC reports the "matching stripe on its fur keeps it camouflaged, until it is ready to walk, explore and find food independently." England's Chester Zoo announced the birth, which came as part of an international breeding program, as "incredibly positive news for the species." There are thought to be just 5,000 giant anteaters left in the wild of South and Central America, where road collisions and habitat destruction pose serious threats, per the Shropshire Star.

The birth—only the third of its kind in the zoo's 92-year history—was shared via live-stream. The footage showed the pup safely delivered on the ground of the family's den "before climbing onto mum only a few moments later," per the Star. "Mum Bliss is so far doing an excellent job of looking after her new arrival and seeing the baby clinging on tightly to her back is a really special sight," says David White, who manages care of the zoo's giant anteaters. The animals are classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. White notes the baby crawls to its mother's underbelly to suckle milk before returning to her back. (Read more endangered species stories.)

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