Baby Anteater Seeks to Usurp Cuteness Crown

Watch out, lion cubs -- you're growing up too soon.

13 photos
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Sorry, lion cubs, you're just getting bigger and bigger. And this (not so) giant anteater, born Dec. 7 at the National Zoo, obviously knows how to hug.
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The male pup is now thriving, but his start was pretty scary. His mom, Maripi, gave birth to him around 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, and he climbed up onto her back shortly afterward, which is normal. But at 6:30 the next morning, zookeepers discovered the baby alone outside, cold to the touch.
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Keepers brought the baby and his mom, Maripi, to the hopistal. The pup was warmed up and reunited with Maripi.
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Keepers also decided to give the baby supplemental feedings -- which were a bit complicated due to that tongue.
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Says the zoo: "What you end up with looks like fairly normal nursing except that there appears to be a small dark snake flailing around in the middle of it all."
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Keeper Marie Magnuson: "Anyway we only needed to do two supplemental feedings in the two weeks he stayed at the hospital. We tried a third but he was having none of it and he even took a swing at me! He’s a tough little guy. That’s probably why he pulled through in spite of such a rocky start."
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The baby, the third to be born at the zoo, hasn't been named yet. Since he seems to be a bit of an escape artist, we suggest "Houdini."
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He and parents probably won't be on exhibit until the spring. Stay warm, little guy!
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The zoo announced his mom was expecting on Sept. 3, although they didn't know the due date. There isn't a lot of ultrasound data on anteaters, it turns out, which is why the zoo carefully documented Maripi's pregnancy.
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The pup's older brother, Cyrano, left for his new home at the Nashville Zoo in January 2010. Good thing this little guy came along to fill the void.
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The first giant anteater born at the zoo was Aurora, in 2007. She moved to Zoo Parc de Beauval in France in summer 2008.
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In conclusion, we would like some cuddles now, please, little anteater.
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