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Giant anteater makes herself at home in Yorkshire

The latest addition to Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s family of animals is three year old giant anteater Tammy who recently arrived from Zoo de la Barben, in Provence, France.

The female anteater wasted no time settling into her new home as she made herself busy, sniffing out food in bug-infested woodpiles. Tammy will join male Nikki as a potential mate and as part of an international breeding programme.

Giant anteaters are native to the scrublands and rainforests of Central and South America, although their numbers are declining rapidly in the wild due to habitat loss and hunting, with only 5,000 remaining.

These vulnerable mammals have a sharp sense of smell with their distinctive toothless snout. Powerful claws will dig out ant and termite nests with giant anteaters consuming around 35,000 insects a day with their sticky 60cm long tongues.

“Tammy has been exploring her new reserve, foraging around in the woodpiles for insects we have spread out for her to help her settle in,” said Gemma Challis, an animal ranger at the park at Branton, near Doncaster.

“She is here as part of the breeding programme but we are taking things slowly and they have yet to go on their first date. But we hope that they will hit it off and breed in the future.”

“Tammy’s journey from France went extremely well and we are delighted to welcome her as a new addition to our anteater family,” said Debbie Porter, Animal Manager.

“Anteaters are mostly nocturnal but they do come out in the day so there will be plenty of chances for our visitors to see Tammy. Most people would recognize a picture of an anteater but very few have ever seen one and are fascinated when they see one in real life’.

Yorkshire wildlife Park is home to some of the world’s most endangered and beautiful animals, including Amur leopards and tigers, giant otters and polar bears. It is a major force in animal conservation and welfare and supports projects around the world that are protecting at risk species.

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