Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Zoo Sighting of the Year

The lion cubs are cute, no question. And the flamingelehs were charming, too, in a fuzzy-and-somewhat-awkward, “I’ll grow into my feet one day” kind of way. But nothing in the world of adorable animal offspring compares to a baby giant anteater riding on his mother’s back.

According to a zookeeper, this baby anteater will ride on his mother’s back for another six to eight months, until he’s almost the same size as she is, at which point she’ll get fed up and make him walk on his own four knuckles. (Well, you know what I mean.)

It was hard to get any great photos, since the number-one anteater activity in the enclosure is pacing—sometimes in the search of food (ants or snacks left by keepers), but mainly in the hope of being let back inside.

The same keeper told me that if the anteaters had their way they’d be in their stalls sleeping all day, every day. I can understand. They do have a good turn of speed when they’re outside, though (remember, they can achieve speeds of 30 mph, although none of them have ever done so while I was watching them.)

Mind you, when I say "they" I mean the female, Maripi, and the male, Dante, not the (as-yet-unnamed) baby, who seems quite happy to be entirely un-speedy.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Anca said...

They ARE cute in the strangest way.

Good ol' Ant said...

Despite my name, I do like anteaters. I just keep my distance from them, when they're hungry. Very cool photos. I've never seen a picture of a baby anteater. (But, I guess, a baby anteater has never seen a picture of me, either. And a good thing, too; otherwise he would be traumatized for life.)

Anca said...

The Detroit Zoo has a new baby anteater, but the information about it in the Free Press was not nearly as complete and fascinating; for instance, no one reading the story would know to look for the baby on the mother's back instead of somewhere on the ground.

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