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Anteater struggles to find a mate

A zoo in Hampshire has welcomed its first anteater pup, but it took a while for zookeepers to find a mate for their male anteater Ernesto.

Matchmaking attempts had previously failed, after the zoo was sent a male anteater instead of a female by mistake.

New mum Chiquita arrived from Warsaw nine months ago. She and Ernesto hit off and have now produced their first pup.

We have been patiently waiting and are absolutely delighted to have the first successful anteater birth here at Marwell. We are so proud to see Chiquita carrying the baby as it hitches a ride across her back and demonstrating maternal instincts as it’s her first pup. She seems content and we can hear the pup feeding and occasionally whistling as it talks to mum."

– Shelly Parkes, Collection Manager at Marwell Zoo

Mum and baby are currently spending a lot of their time indoors away from the cold weather. The sex of the new arrival will be determined at a later date.

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New arrival for anteater parents

A 10-day-old baby anteater born at Marwell Zoo clings to its mum
The 10-day-old baby anteater clings to its mum Credit: Marwell Zoo

A Hampshire zoo is welcoming a new arrival - its first a healthy anteater pup, born to first time mum Chiquita.

The youngster, which weighs just three pounds - the same as a bag of sugar and a tin of beans- was 10 days old on Monday and is going from strength to strength.

Giant anteaters come from South America and are listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the wild. Females normally give birth to one baby at a time, after a pregnancy lasting 190 days.

All anteater pups cling onto their mother's back or legs while they are young and can continue to do so for up to a year. The pup suckles milk and will begin to start eating solids from three months old.

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