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Cincinnati Zoo welcomes cute baby tamandua

Posted at 11:55 AM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 11:55:20-05

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden welcomed a baby tamandua last week, it announced Monday.

Mother tamandua Isla gave birth "in the wee morning hours" of Dec. 20, according to the zoo. She and the pup, whose sex has not been determined, are doing great, officials said.

Tamanduas are similar to anteaters. They use their long snouts to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. They use claws and long tongues to dig into nests and lick up the insects. Tamanduas can be pregnant for 130 to 190 days, so the zoo isn't sure exactly when Isla would give birth, according to Colleen Lawrence, the zoo's interpretive animal keeper.

"I actually don't have words for how excited I am for this pup and how amazed I am watching Isla learning how to be a mom," Lawrence said.

Isla is almost 5 and has been at the Cincinnati Zoo since 2016. The new pup is her first baby.

If all continues to go well, zoo keepers will slowly open the blinds of their habitat after a month or two, giving visitors a peek at the mom and baby. In the meantime, check out the video of Isla and her new pup in the video below: