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Lightning baby born at ZSL London Zoo

In the wake of a thunderstorm, storm Aileen, a giant baby anteater was born. The newest resident to ZSL London Zoo, is now 6 weeks old, and has a shocking white stripe covering the youngster’s back. The mother of the new-born, Inca, has taken the baby outside for the first time since the birth.

ZSL London Zookeeper, Amy Heath, stated, “I was delighted to see a healthy pup snuggled up to mum Inca, having a quiet feed in the cosy indoor den one morning. The tiny youngster immediately climbed up onto mum Inca’s back after finishing its first breakfast – settling into the perfect position to be carried around.

“The first thing I noticed was the rare white markings down the baby’s back, which look like a lightning strike: pups usually have grey markings, so this baby is definitely special. It’s an amazing coincidence that a baby born during such a dark and stormy night has got such unique colourings to mark the occasion.”

Young anteaters spend the first few months of their life clinging to their mother’s backs, descending to feed and climbing back up to nestle. The young pup, in the wild, blends perfectly to their mother’s fur, making them virtually invisible to predators whilst attached to their mum.

The sex of the new-born is unknown, but zookeepers have decided to name the baby to honour the mother’s birthplace in Madrid. Calling the youngling Raya, meaning ‘stripe’ in Spanish, if it’s a girl or Trueno, meaning ‘storm’, if it is a boy.

Amy Heath added, “We’re very pleased with how well our newest addition to the giant anteater family is developing – we can see the pup is feeding well and gaining weight - putting on between 200-500g a week so these youngsters are fast growers.”

For more information on the new-born and to visit ZSL, click HERE.

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