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New baby animal born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Know what a tamandua is?

A Southern tamandua was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Sunday, a first in the zoo’s history.
A Southern tamandua was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Sunday, a first in the zoo’s history. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

A Southern tamandua was born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Sunday, a first in the zoo’s history.

Tamandua is a small species of anteater native to South America.

They have thin, long noses and tongues up to 18 inches that enable them to scoop out termites and other insects.

Zoo officials said the new tamandua pup, which has not been named, is about the size of an avocado and fits into a human palm.

“Mom and baby are both doing well,” said Maureen O’Keefe, Wild Wonders senior staff biologist.

The pup was born to mother Terra and father Gonzo.

The father will be kept separate from the pair while the pup nurses for two months.

Eventually, the tamandua family can be seen at the zoo’s Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater area.

The species is not endangered but officials at Point Defiance hope tamanduas will serve as ambassador animals to help zoo visitors learn about various wildlife and their habits.

Tamandua pups nurse for two months but stay close to their mothers for six months. In the wild, they become independent after a year.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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