The Birmingham Zoo is excited to announce the newest addition to the Zoo family, Carlito, a giant anteater. Carlito is two years old, weighs 165 pounds and came to the Birmingham Zoo from the Santa Barbara Zoo in California as part of the Species Survival Plan Program.
Giant anteaters are insectivores, meaning they eat bugs. They can eat up to 35,000 ants and termites in a single day. Giant anteaters do not have teeth, but rather use their large claws for tearing into ant and termite mounds.
Carlito may be seen in his new habitat in the Primate Building, near Khan the new jaguar. Both Carlito and Khan are native to South and Central America, where several of the Zoo’s monkey species including the spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys and cotton top tamarins are also native. This allows guests to experience many animals native to the same region near one another.
“Carlito is a wonderful addition to the Zoo, and allows guests to experience another ‘giant of the Amazon.’ By seeing Carlito, Khan the jaguar, and Lara and Karina, the giant river otters, who are native to the same regions of the world near one another is a perfect example of how the Birmingham Zoo works to promote its mission of ‘Inspiring Passion for the Natural World’.” said Marcia Riedmiller, Curator of Mammals. “There are several new educational components to this area of the Primate Building, which, along with keeper chats, allows guests to connect with these animals in new and exciting ways.”
Carlito may not be viewable as he gets acclimated to his new home.