Rhode Island Zoo's Newborn Tamandua Is a Weirdly Adorable, Long-nosed Wonder — See the Photos

"This is an exciting addition to our zoo family!"

Baby Tamandua getting weighed at the Roger Williams Park Zoo
Photo: Courtesy of Roger Williams Park Zoo

Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park Zoo announced the birth of a Tamandua, a South American relative of the anteater, and it's just too cute.

The Tamandua pup was born to a mom named Carina and dad named Salvador on May 6. And although the pup does not yet have a name, it could already be on its way to being the zoo's weirdly adorable star

The newborn is healthy and already a hit on social media. The zoo has shared several images of the tamandua, including a picture of it swaddled in its mother's embrace.

"At a month old, our tamandua pup has not only tripled in weight but is reaching all of his expected milestones," Jenny Theman, animal care manager at Roger Williams Park Zoo, shared in a statement to Travel + Leisure. "Second-time mom, Carina is being very attentive and providing great care under the watchful eyes of our dedicated animal care team. This is an exciting addition to our zoo family!"

Baby Tamandua getting weighed at the Roger Williams Park Zoo
Courtesy of Roger Williams Park Zoo

Visitors will be able to Carina, Salvador and the still-unnamed pup in the zoo's "Faces of the Rainforest" habitat. At the moment, the pup is still bonding with its mother behind the scene and undergoing daily wellness checks from the zoo's animal care staff.

The Southern Tamandua is sometimes also called the "lesser anteater." It's native to South America and spends most of its time hanging out in trees, according to the zoo's Instagram post. The animals are perfectly adapted to their habitats, with sharp claws and wrapping tails made for navigating their environments.

The pup was born due to a pairing recommended by the Southern Tamandua Species Survival Plan. Although the species is not considered threatened, the breeding was planned in cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help maintain a "healthy and genetically diverse population" of tamandua, according to the zoo.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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