A giant anteater pup was born at Blackpool Zoo at the end of July and can now be seen hitching a ride on its mother’s back.
The new arrival, born to parents Andina and Eskil who are both six years old, weighs just 2kg at the moment and measures around 50cm long, from the tip of its impressive snout to the end of its already magnificent bushy tail.
Keepers are unsure whether the pup is a boy or a girl at this stage as they are leaving the mother to rear it naturally.
The giant anteater, with its black and white diagonal stripes and dense shaggy hair, hails from the swamps, grasslands and humid forests of areas from Southern Belize to northern Argentina. They are the last living species to have evolved on South America when it was an isolated continent and are now threatened in some parts where there has not been a sighting for many years.
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 26th July 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!”
For more information on visiting Blackpool Zoo go to www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk