Keepers at ZSL London Zoo are celebrating the Christmas arrival of a baby tamandua.
This is the third pup for mum Ria who welcomed her newborn, along with dad Tobi, on Friday 13th December following a 150-day pregnancy.
ZSL keeper Steve Goodwin said: “We’ve all been waiting excitedly for the baby’s arrival so when Ria vanished into her nest box on Thursday evening, we had our fingers firmly crossed that the time had come.
“We came in early the next morning to check on her progress and were delighted to see a tiny baby wriggling on her back – we decided to name the newborn Star in honour of the festive season.”
Young tamanduas spend the first three months clinging to their mother’s backs, sliding down to feed. Both mum and pup have matching camouflage with a continuous stripe down their backs, allowing the youngster to avoid the unwanted attention of predators.
Closely related to giant anteaters, tamanduas have tongues that can grow up to 40 cm in length, perfect for sucking up their favourite food – ants and termites.
Visitors will be able to see the new baby at the Zoo’s living rainforest exhibit – an indoor walkthrough heated to 27 degrees, which the tamanduas share with two-toed sloths Marilyn, Leander and baby Elio, Emperor tamarins, red titi monkeys and fruit bats.
ZSL London Zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. To save up to 25% on tickets book here.