A Texas zoo is the new home to twin giant anteater pups, a rare delivery in the anteater world.
The babies arrived on March 28, but were only announced recently and are a first for the Abilene Zoo.
“Because it is rare for a giant anteater to give birth to twins and be able to adequately nourish two pups, the Abilene Zoo animal care specialists have kept close watch of mother and babies, weighing the pups daily,” the facility said in a statement April 7.
The twins, a male and a female, were born to their two-and-a-half-year-old mother, Demo, who is a first-time mother.
But motherhood of twins isn’t coming easily. The female pup was not gaining weight as well as the male, and so officials decided to hand raise her.
“While the male pup continues to be with mother Demo, the zoo’s veterinary and animal care teams are working towards the goal of reuniting the entire family as soon as the female pup gains weight and achieves critical milestones,” the zoo added.
Giant anteater pups stay close to mom for the first six weeks of life, riding on mother’s back and hiding under her front legs for protection.
Typically, after they turn one month old, the pups start to move around on the ground, but will still ride on the mother’s back quite frequently.
“Demo is at liberty to move around her exhibit, and she has already given a few lucky Abilene Zoo guests the chance to see her baby boy riding on her back,” officials said.
Pups are usually weaned at about nine months, but leave their mother at almost two years of age when they are full grown.
“Although the giant anteater is not an endangered species, the population is becoming increasingly hard to find in its native South America,” the zoo added.
We are thrilled to announce the birth of twin giant anteater pups! This is a first of its kind birth for the Abilene Zoo! The twins were born on March 28, 2022.— The Abilene Zoo (@AbileneZoo) April 8, 2022
Read the story below to learn the rarity of this kind of birth.
Story here ➡️ https://t.co/wM9NYE2ttv pic.twitter.com/3uTfKzf6Wi