Denver Zoo tamandua Rio is pregnant: Watch a video of the anteater's ultrasound
The Denver Zoo can change that. Zoo tamandua Rio is pregnant -- thanks in no small part to her mate, Quito. Tamanduas are a species of anteater native to South America that sport sixteen-inch tongues that they use to, well, eat ants. That's an important fact to know when it comes to Rio's ultrasound, as it seems from the video below that the zoo's veterinarians used a long glass tube filled with creepy crawlies to distract Rio from the fact that she was at the tamandua-OB/GYN.
Here are more details and photos, courtesy of the zoo.
Denver Zoo southern tamandua Rio is pregnant and receiving top prenatal care by animal and veterinary staff. The normally energetic anteater is taking it easy behind the scenes in the zoo's Gates Animal Housing center as zookeepers tend to her health. After Rio's latest ultrasound, veterinarians now believe she will give birth around March.
This will be the first birth for Rio and her mate, Quito. Neither is ever on exhibit, but rather they are very popular animals in the zoo's Education collection, which provides opportunities for up-close, animal encounters for programs like outreach visits and VIP tours. To minimize activity for the duration of her pregnancy, though, Rio will not travel away from the zoo.
|Rio is on the right and Quito is on the left.|
Rio was born in November 2004 at Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. Quito was born in August 2012 at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match.Continue for more about Rio's pregnancy, including another photo and a video.
Tamanduas are born following a 130-150 day gestation period. As her expected birth date approaches, zookeepers will provide Rio with a nest box that will let her feel safe, yet still allow zookeepers to monitor her status. Veterinarians regularly perform ultrasound examinations to measure the head and body size of the new baby as well as checking both the mother and baby's body condition.