This Week’s Creature Feature
Born on the seventh of December, the latest addition to the National Zoo has already caused a fuss among the zookeepers. The giant anteater pup was found lying outside his mother’s cage with a dangerously low body temperature. The month-old cub was rushed to the vet, then given the all-clear to go back to his mom.
“We’re not sure what happened,” says animal keeper Leigh Pitsko. “But he pulled through like a trooper.”
He’s also learned his lesson. This unnamed baby has decided to stick to his mom, Maripi, like glue.
Mom Maripi is enjoying the perks of motherhood, including her favorite snack in exchange for access to her baby.
“The mother loves peanut butter. She’ll let you handle her if she’s eating peanut butter. That’s how we did voluntary ultrasounds,” Pitsko says. “Not all anteaters are that easygoing.”
Or that hungry.
As for five-pound pup, he’ll probably have a name before he can be seen in public. Anteaters, used to South American climates, can’t enter their exhibit until the temperature climbs above 50 degrees.
Typically the zoo holds a naming contest. When that comes around — and he comes out — we’ll let you know.