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First baby of 2023 born at Cincinnati Zoo


Healthy tamandua pup sets the tone for the beginning of the year

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has announced its first animal birth of the year, with 9-year-old Isla the tamandua giving birth to a pup. The sex of the infant has not yet been identified.

The endearing newborn tamandua (Photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden).

The endearing newborn tamandua (Photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden).

“The birth window for tamanduas is 130-190 days, and Isla’s pup came at the very end of that window,” expressed Cincinnati Zoo’s zoological manager Julie Grove, in an organizational release.1 “Our Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring Isla’s every move since mid-November, and our care team has performed regular ultrasounds to track fetal development. Isla’s keepers have established an amazing bond with her, and she cooperates fully with ultrasounds and other health-related procedures.”

Updates on the Cincinnati Zoo's TikTok account displayed the tremendous efforts the tamandua care team dedicated to managing her pregnancy. On a recent Cincinnati Zoo Tales podcast episode, zookeeper Colleen Adams offers additional insight on Isla and her prenatal care.

Because the tamandua pup had a long birth window, Zoo staff members will able to engage in a baby pool. Each date/time guess of the birth was $5 and all proceeds will go to the Anteaters & Highways project. The winner is to be among the first to see the baby up close.

The tamandua is also referred to as the “lesser anteater,” and has a long snout that sniffs out ants, termites, and bee colonies. The long claws allow it to dig into nests, and a long sticky tongue licks up insects. In fact, one tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day.1


First baby of 2023. News release. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. January 5, 2023. Accessed January 6, 2023. https://cincinnatizoo.org/news-releases/first-baby-of-2023

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