New Anteater Species, Tamandua!

By Jaime Wilson, Zoo Blog Keeper

We are very excited to announce a new species of anteater on exhibit at the Sacramento Zoo! The Southern tamandua, or Lesser anteater has a prehensile tail that it uses as an extra hand or foot. The underside and end of the tail are hairless which helps the tamandua to grip while foraging for food.

Like the giant anteater, the tamandua eats approximately 9,000 ants each day in the wild. At the Zoo, tamanduas are fed a blended diet that has all the necessary nutrients.

A smelly scent gives tamanduas the nickname “stinkers of the forest.” The tamandua uses this smell as a form of protection against predators. Some say the aroma is four times more pungent than a skunk’s scent!

Tamanduas live in the rainforest and scrub forests of South America including Venezuela, Trinidad, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. They are at home both in trees and on the ground so when you visit our newest addition in the Rare Feline Courtyard, make sure to look up!

During our recent cold weather, the Zoo's tamandua has chosen to stay cozy inside his den. Look for him out on exhibit on warmer, sunny days. In the meantime, watch the video below of his first day on exhibit or you can view it on Youtube.

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