The Abilene Zoo in Texas announced the birth of twin anteater pups on Thursday. This was the first time the Zoo witnessed the birth of anteaters.
According to the Zookeepers, the twins were born on March 28, 2022. The pups were given birth by their two and a half year old mother, Demo.
Demo’s twins, one male and one girl, are her firstborns. However, it is unusual for a giant anteater to give birth to twins and be able to appropriately feed two pups.
Zoo animal care specialists have been keeping a tight eye on the mother and cubs, weighing the puppies on a daily basis. Initially the female pup was not gaining weight, therefore it was decided to hand-raise her. Whereas, the male pup remained with his mother. The zoo’s veterinary and animal care teams have also planned to reunite the complete family as soon as his sister gains weight and meets certain milestones.
For the first six weeks of their lives, giant anteater puppies stay close to their mothers, riding on their backs and burrowing under their front legs for protection. When a giant anteater pup is nine months old, it is weaned from its mother and leaves when it is fully grown, which is little under two years old.
The zoo stated there is no definite date for when the pups will be on public display. However, Demo the mother is free to walk around her exhibit. Interestingly, she has already shown a few zoo visitors her newborn boy riding on her back.
According to the Zoo authorities, although the giant anteater is not an endangered species, still the population in its native South America is growing increasingly scarce.
The birth of the giant anteater twins at the zoo will allow the team to share animal development data with experts. Moreover it will also help to educate the public about the endangered species.