SAN DIEGO – Visitors to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will soon be able to see a new Southern Tamandua puppy born in the park late last month.
Staff announced on Friday the birth of the female southern tamandua, pronounced tuh MAN deh wah, a type of ant eater. The puppy whose name has not yet been named was born on July 21 to Cora and Fernando, tamandua’s first parents.
Covered in fine, silky grayish-brown hair, staff estimate the puppy will suckle for five to six months and will begin to try foods like worms after two to three months.
“Mum and puppy are doing great – and Cora is a caring mom, keeping her puppy tucked away in her den most of the time, but venturing outside until one o’clock on some days,” Lisa said. Peterson, Executive Director of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “It’s great to watch the puppy develop, using its strong claws to cling to Cora’s back with confidence as Cora climbs into the habitat.”
The father, Fernando, does not play any role in raising the puppy and does not share a habitat with mother and baby as tamanduas are generally solitary animals, except during mating. The species is sometimes referred to as ‘forest stink’ because it can give off a very unpleasant skunk-like odor when a predator gets too close, wildlife officials have said.
The birth of this puppy comes after a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The species is considered to have stable populations, but is endangered due to habitat loss and increased collection from their habitats for the pet trade.
The park said Cora and her pup will stay in their habitat out of sight for about two months while they bond. When Cora is ready, she will take her puppy outside for longer periods of time.
Visitors can see mom and baby on a behind-the-scenes safari at Safari Park’s Wildlife Connections habitat or up close during an unscheduled wildlife presentation inside Safari Park, staff said.
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