San Diego Zoo Global has had tamanduas off and on over the years, beginning with a pair of northern tamanduas in 1932. We have had one tamandua birth, in 1998.
Currently, the San Diego Zoo has a pair of Guyanan tamanduas, a southern tamandua subspecies, named Tipu and Lola; the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a Guyanan tamandua female named Luna. All three live off exhibit but serve as animal ambassadors, meeting Zoo and Safari Park guests up close during animal presentations and making appearances at television stations. You may see one out on a walk, looking for ants.
Keepers say the tamanduas can tell the different ant species apart by their smell, and they only like to eat certain types! Tamanduas like to climb, too (especially palm trees), so while out on a walk or meeting guests, keepers have to keep their tamandua from getting too close to any trees. Otherwise, our animal ambassador just might grab onto a branch with those mighty forearms, and it would be tough to convince him or her to let go!
Both northern and southern tamanduas are classified as species of least concern, with stable populations. Fortunately, tamanduas are able to adapt to a variety of habitats as needed.
You can help us bring other species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe.