The Abilene Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of twin giant anteater pups; a first of its kind birth for the zoo! The twins were born to their two-and-a-half-year-old mother, Demo, the morning of March 28, 2022.
The giant anteater twins, one boy and one girl, are Demo’s first born. 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. It was noted that the female pup was not gaining weight, and the decision was made 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.
There is not yet a date set for the pups to be out on display to the public. However, 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. The Abilene Zoo encourages all guests to visit the giant anteater viewing area to try and catch a glimpse!
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. After the first month has passed, the pups will begin to spend more time on the ground, but will still ride on the mother’s back quite frequently. A giant anteater pup is usually weaned at about nine months of age, and leaves its mother when it is full grown, at just under two years of age.
Although the giant anteater is not an endangered species, the population is becoming increasingly hard to find in its native South America. The birth of these giant anteater twins at the Abilene Zoo will allow the zoo team to share development data about this beautiful animal with researchers and educate the public about this unique species.
About Abilene Zoo
Abilene Zoo was founded in 1966 as a collaborative partnership between the City of Abilene and the Abilene Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving wildlife and protecting wild places. Through its passion and expertise in animal care, conservation, and education, the Abilene Zoo’s mission is a place of learning and adventure where people make memories, share in the joy of discovery, and become inspired to save wildlife. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1985, this West Texas Zoo sees 129 school districts from over 51 Texas counties in addition to over a quarter of a million guests each year. To learn more, visit abilenezoo.org.