Giant anteater

About This Project

Ants are delicious!

The giant anteater mainly eats ants and termites and occasionally larvae and other insects.

It has a striking appearance: thick fur, tubular snout, a tongue 60 cm long (the longest tongue of any mammal!) and long claws on its front feet so it can break open anthills and termite mounds…

This is one of the most endangered mammals in Central America and Brazil: it is hunted for its meat, captured by animal traffickers or just killed, and the forests and savannahs where it lives are being destroyed…

La Barben zoo has been looking after a pair of anteaters since 2014, as part of the European Endangered Species Programme set up to assist the survival of the species.

With succe: they already reproduced twice!

Species in the EEP

Latin name: Myrmecophaga tridactyla
Class: Mammalia
Order: Pilosa
Family: Myrmecophagidae
Size: 1 m long, tail 65-90 cm
Weight: 30 – 55 kg
Lifespan: 25 years (captivity)
Gestation: 6 months
Number of young: 1
Habitat: tropical forest, savannah, wetlands
Diet: insectivorous
Distribution: from Honduras to northern Argentina. Probably extinct in Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Conservation status: Vulnerable