Zoo Snapshot: Southern Tamandua

This is a picture of a tamandua in a transport carrier.

Southern Tamandua

Tamandua tetradactyla

Least Concern

Size: Head to tail 43-47 inches in length with a 59-70 inch wingspan.

Habitat:  Forests adjacent to savannas, lowland and montane moist tropical rain forest as well as mangroves.

At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the South American Pavilion. 

This is a picture of a tamandua.

The tamandua is a species of anteater from South America.   It mainly feeds on ants and termites, but also attacks bees nests to eat honey.   Years ago when we had a pair of tamanduas a rare baby was born at the Zoo.   In the wild they are found from sea level to high in the Andes Mountains at elevations up to 6,500 feet.   Because they are great ant eaters some people will keep them in their homes as pets to help control insects.   They are largely nocturnal nesting in hollow tree trunks or in the burrows of other animals like armadillos. When a tamandua feels threatened it will hang on to a tree branch with its hind feet and tail leaving its arms and long curved claws free for combat.

Cover Photo: Mark Dumont, Wikimedia Creative Commons

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