May 25, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk is opening a new exhibit featuring a species of anteater.
Tamanduas inhabit both forests and savanna in South America. The zoo exhibit features two tamanduas: a male named Felipito and a female named Grace.
Executive director Greg Bockheim says the animals that feed on ants, termites and bees are really exotic-looking. They weigh from 3 to 19 pounds and have a 15 to 26-inch tail that allows them to grasp things.
Tamanduas also have a gland at the base of their tail that releases an unpleasant odor used to deter predators. And they have long claws they use to break into insect nests or in self-defense.
The animals are mainly nocturnal and spend much of their time foraging in trees.