Baby Anteater Seeks to Usurp Cuteness Crown Published January 10, 2011 • Updated on January 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm Watch out, lion cubs -- you're growing up too soon. 13 photos 1/13 Smithsonian Institution 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. 2/13 Smithsonian Institution 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. 3/13 Smithsonian Institution Keepers brought the baby and his mom, Maripi, to the hopistal. The pup was warmed up and reunited with Maripi. 4/13 Smithsonian Institution Keepers also decided to give the baby supplemental feedings -- which were a bit complicated due to that tongue. 5/13 Smithsonian Institution 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." 6/13 Smithsonian Institution 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." 7/13 Smithsonian Institution 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." 8/13 Smithsonian Institution He and parents probably won't be on exhibit until the spring. Stay warm, little guy! 9/13 Smithsonian Institution 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. 10/13 Smithsonian Institution 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. 11/13 Smithsonian Institution The first giant anteater born at the zoo was Aurora, in 2007. She moved to Zoo Parc de Beauval in France in summer 2008. 12/13 Smithsonian Institution In conclusion, we would like some cuddles now, please, little anteater. 13/13 Smithsonian Institution 0 More Photo Galleries Brag on Your Grad: Celebrating 2020 Graduates in DC, Maryland and Virginia Photos: Protests, Unrest in DC Following George Floyd’s Death Protesters, Enraged by Black Americans Killed, Gather Nationwide NBC4-T44 Friday Fun: Show and Tell!