Our second pair of Palawan binturongs finally had their cubs in early March! This is the second set of pups born here at Nashville Zoo and we are the only AZA accredited zoo breeding this species. We currently have a total of 7 Palawan binturongs in our collection: two mating pairs, a male who is part of our Ambassador Animal program and these two pups.
While one of the sister pups has already been picked up by Columbus Zoo’s Ambassador Animal Team, the twin sister , Willow, will join her cousin Wilbur here in our own Behavioral Husbandry Department. Look for her public appearances soon!
Our newest southern tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla), Nina, was born to first-time mother, Ke$ha, in mid-March. The female weighed around 0.5 lbs and was 36.5 cm long at birth.
Nina is the ninth tamandua born at Nashville Zoo. We currently have 4 in our collection and there are 45 in AZA zoos. This birth has a bit of significance because the reproductive rate is low in human care for this species. The vet team monitored the pregnancy via regular ultrasounds and Ke$ha was pampered with plenty of attention and a special diet.
Nashville Zoo is currently writing the animal care manual for southern tamanduas. In the future, this will be used as reference by AZA zoos across the country. The baby will remain here at Nashville Zoo where she will become an ambassador animal attending school programs and other educational programs.
The male giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Demetrio, was born on April 6 weighing 3.8 lbs and is currently being raised by his mother in our off-exhibit facility. This is the second pup for this mother and the 17th successful giant anteater birth at Nashville Zoo since we acquired this species in 2000. There are a total of 111 in AZA zoos. Giant anteaters are listed as vulnerable on the ICUN Red List with the population declining 30% over the past 10 years due to habitat loss and deaths by fire and vehicular traffic.
Not only does the Nashville zoo have lots of success with breeding these animals but we are currently involved in numerous projects that include monitoring reproductive status in female giant anteaters by fecal hormone analysis, performing ultra-sonographic exams to monitor fetal development, and undertaking intensive diet studies. Nashville Zoo is currently writing AZA’s husbandry manual for this species.
The male will stay here until weaned from his mother at which time he will be sent to another zoo.