News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
January 24, 2017
Note: Images of the anteater pup at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded below.
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Giant Anteater Born at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill.—The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which operates Brookfield Zoo, is kicking off the New Year with a “giant” announcement: the birth of a giant anteater. Born on November 15, 2016, the 2-month-old female pup and her mom, Tulum, are adjusting nicely and may now be seen together in Tropic World: South America on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. (Lupito, the sire, can be seen on the other days of the week.)

This is the second giant anteater birth at Brookfield Zoo and the second offspring for Tulum and Lupito, who both arrived at Brookfield Zoo in 2014. In May 2015, they became first-time parents to a female pup named Tapas, who now resides at Pittsburgh Zoo. Both of Tulum’s pregnancies were closely monitored by CZS’s veterinary and animal care staff, who used ultrasonography to monitor the health of mom and her offspring.

Giant anteaters are currently considered a vulnerable species in their native habitat of Honduras, Brazil, and northern Argentina. Conservation actions are considered important for their survival, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The species’ population is declining due to a number of factors, including habitat loss from urban development and farmland, hunting for meat and leather, wildfires, and roadway accidents. Researchers estimate that only about 5,000 giant anteaters remain in the wild today. Currently, 117 giant anteaters are being cared for in 56 accredited North American zoos, including Brookfield Zoo, which began caring for the species in 1958.

Giant anteaters are the largest of four anteater species. At birth, a pup is born with a full coat of hair and, for the first several months, hitches a ride on its mother’s back. In the wild, the similar coloring between a pup and its mother offers camouflage as protection from predators. By the time a giant anteater reaches adulthood, its coat will have turned dark gray with black and white shoulder stripes, and the animal will typically weigh between 40 and 100 pounds. Defining features of giant anteaters include a long, narrow head; a two-foot-long tongue, which allows them to eat thousands of ants and termites each day; and a long, bushy tail.


About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit




Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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