Baby Anteater Born on 'Coldest Night' at Miami Zoo Beats the Odds After Being Abandoned By Mom

Kelli Bender
·2 min read

Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

This little guy with a long tongue is a fighter.

According to a release from Zoo Miami, a baby anteater, believed to be a male, was born on the evening of Dec. 8 to mom Laura.

"Unfortunately, this happened to be one of the coldest nights of the year in Miami, and the newborn was found abandoned in the corner of its holding area, weak and cold," the Florida zoo wrote in their release.

After finding the newborn, the zoo raced the baby anteater to the zoo's hospital and placed it in intensive care. While keepers were uncertain if the little animal would pull through, the baby anteater became more responsive as it started to warm up and receive fluids.

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Forty-eight hours after bringing the animal to the hospital, the zoo's staff tried reintroducing the baby to its mother. The 7-year-old mom showed interest in the infant anteater at first, allowing the baby to ride on her back, but soon became disinterested in her child.

Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

It became clear to keepers that Laura was unwilling to accept her baby, which meant it was up to them to raise the little anteater. The baby is now being hand-reared by the zoo's staff, which means bottle feedings every 3 hours and around-the-clock monitoring.

This dedicated care is paying off. The baby anteater continues to gain strength, according to Zoo Miami, and is starting to grow its "distinct black and white coat."

Ron Magill/ Zoo Miami

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"Zoo veterinarians are cautiously optimistic that the baby has overcome the most serious challenges of its first few days and are hoping that the improvements continue though there are still obstacles ahead as there would be for any infant in this situation," the zoo shared in its release on the birth.