Belfast Zoo now ‘nose’ the name of the baby giant anteater

editorial image

Names for baby giant anteater’s at Belfast Zoo have been chosen by the public.

The zoo received almost 400 votes and the name ‘Zira’ was selected for a girl

Anteater's at Belfast Zoo

Anteater's at Belfast Zoo

and ‘Dante’ was selected for a boy.

Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns, said: “The baby giant anteater was born on 22 December to parents, Pancho and Kara. Kara is a fantastic mum and for the first six months, she has been carrying the baby on her back. In the wild this acts as camouflage from predators but it also made it difficult for the team to find out whether the infant was male or female, as we didn’t want to disrupt mother and baby.

“In recent weeks, the baby has become more independent and we finally got the chance to find out the gender of the youngster. We are delighted to announce that the baby giant anteater is a girl and has therefore been named ‘Zira’! We would like to thank everyone for helping us select the name.”

The giant anteater is an endangered South American mammal.

As the name suggests, the giant anteater is the world’s biggest anteater species and can grow up to seven feet in length. Giant anteaters are unquestionably an unusual looking species. They have a long snout, long hair, a large bushy tail and a long tongue which is approximately 50 centimetres in length!

They use their tongue to mop up insects and can eat up to 30,000 insects in a single day!