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Mysterious Anteater Birth is Ripe for an Anteater-Themed Soap Opera

Mysterious Anteater Birth is Ripe for an Anteater-Themed Soap Opera

Written by Stephen Messenger

As if ripped from the pages of some poorly written anteater-themed soap opera, the mystery surrounding a recent birth at a conservation facility in Connecticut is leading some to summon the phrase ‘immaculate conception’.

(Dun, dun, duuun.)

Officials at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich say that a giant anteater under their care, with the totally made-up sounding name Armani, was somehow able to bear an offspring despite living without a male companion for nearly a year.

According to her keepers, Armani had been living with a male up until August of last year, when he was moved out to protect their first-born. Yet somehow, eight months later she had yet another — and gestation for these animals last sixs months! Gasp!

Armani has some explaining to do. But she is, of course, an anteater, and they’re notoriously tight-lipped.

With an absence of any solid explanation, the speculation has begun. Officials considered that Armani may have delayed the development of a previously fertilized egg, but that has been ruled as unlikely for the species.

Zoologist Stacey Belhumeur has another theory: covert coupling. By all accounts, Armani had no access to her former companion after they were separated, but forbidden lovers tend to find a way regardless — particularly among the young and the restless.

“My guess is they thought they had him separated,” Belhumeur tells the Science Times. “We’ve seen incredible feats of breeding success. We’ve had animals breed through fences.”

And sure enough, the conservation center admits that Armani and her former (or present) mate do indeed share a fence. Not the most ideal bedding ground, to be sure, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Still, it’s reassuring to know that both baby and mama are both healthy and well, despite the dubious circumstances that led to the birth.

It’s riveting drama, refreshingly free of the cheesy music and awkward product placement that tend to spoil the suspended disbelief on daytime television. Unless, perhaps, you’re an ant, in which case this all must be quite terrifying.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: Smithsonian National Zoo/flickr

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5:33AM PDT on Jun 25, 2014

Will, maybe it's a holy anteater? Imagine it as an interjection: Holy Anteater!

5:32AM PDT on Jun 25, 2014

Long live anteaters!

9:22AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

7:56PM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

Nicely shared :-)

12:41PM PDT on Jun 15, 2013

Heeeheee what a cute story!

2:22PM PDT on May 24, 2013

great for them!

5:16PM PDT on May 23, 2013

Indeed Lydia- Mother Anteater will soon have another bundle of joy!

11:29AM PDT on May 23, 2013

Thanks for providing Mr. Messengers very interesting article!

7:57AM PDT on May 22, 2013

Congratulations to mommy! However it happened, she has been blessed again!

3:35AM PDT on May 22, 2013

There is a logical answer to this, but as its America, lets call it an immaculate conception...god secretly shagged it and now they're waiting for the arrival of the 3 wise aardvarks bearing gold, frankincense and termites.

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