Reid Park Zoo Assisting Tamandua Pup With Critical Growth

Reid Park Zoo is caring for a baby tamandua behind the scenes. On December 21, Xochi the tamandua gave birth to a male pup. The baby was alert and active his first few days of life. However, after several days he was a little sluggish and had lost more weight than is typical post-birth.

Animal care staff stepped in to offer supplemental feedings for the baby tamandua! Several times a day, a team of animal care professionals bring the pup into the Zoo’s Health Center to eat. They weigh him before and after every feeding, and veterinarian Dr. Roth takes the opportunity to provide a physical exam to make sure the pup is in tip-top shape.

The pup, whose name is still being decided on by the animal care team, is now a normal weight and is growing strong! He still depends on the extra food from the team — in addition to the nutrients he receives from nursing.

This pup is Xochi’s third. Reid Park Zoo is proud of the role Xochi and the other tamanduas at the Zoo play in advocating for their species. They serve an important role as animal ambassadors, educating people in zoos across the country about southern tamanduas and their unfortunate position in the wildlife pet trade. Tamanduas are often illegally taken from the wild for sale as exotic pets. Our ambassadors serve as important reminders that tamanduas are wild animals that do not make good pets, and that you should always research potential pets carefully.

Tamanduas live behind-the-scenes at the Zoo, but guests sometimes have the opportunity to see these incredible animals during animal presentations at the Conservation Learning Center, education programs, and behind-the-scenes tours at the Zoo.