Ziggy Ebenezer, who was born on the coldest night in Florida, beat the odds and is gaining strength every single day.
Meet Ziggy Ebenezer, the Miami Zoo's newest resident. Ziggy is a male giant anteater who was born on December 8, his mother's birthday. While he is a giant anteater, he is not quite giant just yet. The zoo is currently nursing him to health after a difficult first few days following his birth. Ziggy is continuing to gain strength and grow, to the relief of his caretakers at the Miami Zoo in Florida. The veterinarians at the zoo are "cautiously optimistic" about the progress he is making, the zoo affirmed in a news release. There are still obstacles that lie ahead, CNN reports.
A Happy Holiday for At Least One— Dan Steketee 🌎🌊🐋🐠 (@dsteketee97) December 23, 2020
via @kbenderNYC and PEOPLE Magazine | https://t.co/vFXt3Puso9
#sustainability #nature #survival #zoos #futureishere #babies #anteaters #animals #happyholidays https://t.co/J0eItFT6lc
Ziggy was born on one of the coldest nights of the year in Florida. Unfortunately, the adult female who birthed him abandoned the baby in a corner of their enclosure at the zoo. As per officials at the zoo, the baby was cold and weak given the circumstances of his birth. He was immediately taken to the zoo hospital and put in intensive care. While the team initially did not believe that Ziggy would survive, he has been a fighter throughout the whole process. Over time, as his temperature got warmer, he slowly became more responsive to their care.
Within 48 hours of being nursed at the intensive care unit, the baby giant anteater was strong enough to be reintroduced to his mom. Sadly, the mother continued to reject him. Therefore, little Ziggy was returned to the hospital to be monitored and to continue receiving care from the zoo's vets. Originally, he was fed by a tube but has moved on to accept and drink from a bottle. He is fed every three hours. The zoo affirmed in a news release, "It continues to gain strength and its distinct black and white coat is beginning to grow in."
They continued, "Zoo veterinarians are cautiously optimistic that the baby has overcome the most serious challenges of its first few days and are hoping that the improvements continue though there are still obstacles ahead as there would be for any infant in this situation." The Miami Zoo shared the news of Ziggy's birth through a video uploaded to Facebook. They wrote, "Thank you to our community for the warm wishes in welcoming Ziggy Ebenezer, the baby boy anteater, to the family! Since his birth on December 8, it has been confirmed that he is in fact a boy, and he is doing very well and continuing to gain weight. Our wonderful staff will continue to hand-rear him until he is big enough to be introduced to his habitat."
Cuteness! The 10 day old anteater born at the Miami Zoo. Newspaper says his mother rejected him in the cold. They are getting him healthy. pic.twitter.com/BK3N8tcWF7— Nicole Russin-McFarland (@nicrussin) December 19, 2020
Of the four species of anteaters, giant anteaters are the largest. They can reach to about six to eight feet. These animals are native to regions in Central and South America. At present, they are listed as vulnerable, and their greatest threat is habitat loss. The giant anteater is more commonly known as the "ant bear." They have two tongues that can grow to two feet long. These allow them to lick up to 150 ants or termites a minute. As they have no teeth, ant bears use their strong powerful front claws to fend off predators, such as jaguars.