Cincinnati Zoo welcomes newest member of the family: A baby tamandua

Updated: Dec. 24, 2018 at 11:51 AM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A baby tamandua was born at The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden early Thursday morning.

The labor was quick and the mom, Isla, and pup are doing great and bonding in the Zoo’s Animal Ambassador Center.

“We have been waiting for this baby for what feels like forever and have been doing weekly ultrasounds since August,” said Cincinnati Zoo Interpretive Animal Keeper Colleen Lawrence.

“Since tamanduas can be pregnant 130-190 days, we really didn’t know when it was going to happen. I actually don’t have words for how excited I am for this pup and how amazed I am watching Isla learning how to be a mom," she said.

Tamanduas are a type of anteater and use their long snouts to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. They have long claws enable them to dig into nests, and a long sticky tongue to lick up the insects.

Zoo staff say they do not know the gender of the baby tamanadua, who also does not yet have a name.

The almost five-year-old Isla has been at the Cincinnati Zoo since 2016 and she is a first-time mom. If all goes well, the zoo keeper staff will slowly open the blinds at the Animal Ambassador Center after 1-2 months, so that visitors can come see the baby.