Marwell's first anteater pup named

Daily Echo: NEW NAME: Baby anteater Rojo on mum's back. NEW NAME: Baby anteater Rojo on mum's back.

WINCHESTER’S very first anteater pup has finally been given a name – with a little help from the public.

Visitors were given the chance to vote for their favourite name by keepers at Marwell Wildlife, who offered free tickets for one lucky winner, seeing the winning name of Rojo receive over 50 per cent of the 1,100 votes.

The keepers deliberately chose unisex names as they will not be able to tell the animal’s sex for several months.

Other suggested names were Quera and Maxi. As reported in the Daily Echo two weeks ago, the zoo announced the new arrival following dad Ernesto’s five-year-long dry spell. Fears emerged after the nine-year-old male would not mate with his former partner, Arica, but all was not lost when he was introduced to two-year-old Chiquita nine months ago and a romance blossomed.

Giant anteaters are native to South America and are listed as vulnerable in the wild. Females normally give birth to one baby at a time after a gestation period of 190 days.

All anteater pups cling onto their mum’s back or legs while they are young and can continue to do so for up to a year. For the time being the pup is suckling milk and will begin to start eating solids from Mum’s feeding trough – a cunningly designed Wellington boot – from three months old.

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