Although Easter was very different this year for everyone at Colchester Zoo. On Saturday 11th April their Animal Care Team were delighted to see that Ruth the Tamandua had given birth to a healthy baby.
The young Tamandua is yet to be sexed but is growing healthy and strong with Ruth proving to be a very good mum. This bundle of joy is the 2nd successful offspring for Ruth and dad, Oreo so they have previous experience of bringing up a youngster and teaching the life of a Tamandua!
Ruth and Oreo arrived at Colchester Zoo in January 2017 and their first successful offspring named, Oronicco, was born at the end of September 2017 so it was love at first sight for the pair. Oronicco has since transferred to another collection as part of a breeding recommendation but she was the first Tamandua baby to have successfully been born in Colchester Zoo’s history. Zoo staff are delighted to see that Ruth and Oreo still have a spark in their relationship and have welcomed a new arrival into the world!
Keeper Jennie says: “We’re excited to see baby’s personality come out and see if it resembles a mixture of Ruth and Oreo’s traits. Ruth is very relaxed and shows a lot of interest in us whereas Oreo is a bit more serious but he still has a gentle character. They can both be playful, enjoy their food and a good long sleep. Ruth interacts with the enrichment we provide them more than Oreo, he loves to dig!”
Tamanduas are born well developed and will cling to their mother’s back during the early days and weeks. They are often hung on a branch near a feeding spot or left in a nest of leaves when the mother wants to feed alone. They come from South America and are arboreal anteaters and spend a lot of time in the trees. They have strong claws and have a long, powerful, prehensile tail, which enables them to hold onto things.
It will be a while before we know the sex of this little one but keepers are beginning to think of names already!