A special Christmas gift!

We’ve received a very special early Christmas present, following the birth of a baby giant anteater!

The pup was born to four-year-old mum, Lyra and six-year-old dad, Bubbles on Saturday afternoon in front of surprised visitors.

Section Leader, Sam Grove, said: “It’s wonderful to end the year with this happy news, especially just before Christmas and we’ll have to let Santa know there’s an extra animal to add to his gift list!

“The baby is their second offspring together, so mum is already experienced and getting on with things and the pup appears healthy and alert, which is great news.”

The gestation period for an anteater is approximately six months and once the baby is delivered, it climbs up onto mum’s back and clings on to her fur, where it will remain warm and camouflaged for at least four weeks. However, mum will carry around the baby on her back for most of its first year!

Our giant anteaters are part of a carefully managed European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), with their first offspring, Gizmo, relocating to Edinburgh Zoo earlier this year.

Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list, the species, which is native to Central and South America, is under threat mainly due to habitat destruction.