Taipei, March 5 (CNA) A male giant anteater arrived in Taiwan on Thursday on loan from Japan will be housed with a female of the same species, in the hope that they will mate and produce offspring, according to the Taipei Zoo.
The 7-year-old anteater, named Sanpei, was loaned to Taiwan by the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya as part of a conservation education and awareness program, the Taipei Zoo announced Friday.
After a 30-day quarantine period, Sanpei will be placed with Taipei Zoo’s only giant anteater, a female named Cortesa, with the goal of them mating and producing offspring, helping to help vulnerable species survive. said the zoo.
The loan of the male anteater was made with the help of the Japan Association of Zoos and Aquariums, an organization that focuses on animal conservation and protection, the zoo said.
The giant anteater, an insectivorous mammal native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, has been classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
One of four remaining anteater species, it is recognizable by its elongated tongue, which can stretch up to 60 centimeters when feeding, the Taipei Zoo said, adding that its diet consists mainly of ants and termites.
The animal can be up to 217cm long and weigh 40 kilograms when fully grown, the zoo said.
Cortesa, which was acquired from Singapore Zoo in 2018 under the European Endangered Species Program (EEP), is the only captive giant anteater in Taiwan, according to Taipei Zoo.
The anteater Japan loaned to Taiwan will not be on public display until mid-April at the earliest, the Taipei Zoo said.