• Sweden's news in English

Swedish zoo rejoices over rare anteater birth

David Landes · 11 Jan 2011, 11:57

Published: 11 Jan 2011 10:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Jan 2011 11:57 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“This is extremely rare. As far as I know it's never happened in Sweden before,” Parken Zoo’s chief zoologist Helena Olsson told The Local.

Olsson explained that zookeepers happened to be on hand when the mother anteater, Benita, gave birth on December 23rd.

"The mother and father were in the same cage and the zookeepers saw blood and became worried," said Olsson.

After separating Benita from her mate Rozinski, zookeepers once again turne their attention to the female anteater.

"And suddenly she just pushed the newborn out right before their eyes."

The stunned zookeepers were given more reason to worry when they then saw Benita stand by her newborn son and scratch him with her claws. But a little further investigation revealed that nothing was wrong.

“Benita was simply cleaning her son by carefully removing the amniotic membrane from her his body,” said Olsson.

The nearly two-year-old Benita came to Parken Zoo from Berlin last spring in hopes she would mate with Rozinski, the park’s male giant anteater, which arrived in Eskilstuna in October 2009.

According to Olsson, the pair took an immediate liking to one another.

"They started to pal around as soon as they were put together," she said.

Found in the wild in Central and South America, the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) feeds mainly on ants and termites and can eat up to 30,000 insects a day.

Benita and Rozinski and their yet-to-named son are the only anteaters in Sweden, according to Olsson, who added that, there aren't many anteaters in captivity elsewhere in the world.

Story continues below…

"That's what makes this so special. It's rare enough to have an anteater in your zoo, but a birth is even less common," she said.

Parken Zoo was also the site of the birth of a rare tapir in July 2010. And back in June 2009, the zoo’s 40-year-old gibbon gave birth of a healthy baby in what was described as a “miracle birth”, as zookeepers had previously thought the mother was dying.

Nevertheless, Olsson described the birth of the giant anteater as "better than the rest", adding that the youngster appears healthy and vibrant.

"He's doing well, climbing on his mother's back as he should," she said.

Related links:

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:03 January 11, 2011 by karex
Good news! At least in the Eskilstuna Zoo the employees take home babies for hand feeding when mothers don't/can't care for them properly, not like the Borås zoo where they put them down.
11:13 January 11, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
whats up with that picture?

is that some sort of ant-eater / panda hybrid animal????
21:38 January 11, 2011 by dizzymoe33
Congratulations this is exciting news. The picture of the baby is cute.
Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available