Nashville Zoo Celebrates Southern Tamandua Birth

Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a male Southern tamandua pup born on February 12, 2024.

Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a male Southern Tamandua pup born on February 12, 2024. The pup was born weighing in at 390 grams (nearly a pound) and measuring 16 inches long from snout to tail to first-time mom and dad, Alma and Andre.

When Alma and Andre were introduced, they showed immediate interest in each other and formed a tight bond. "They were often found sleeping on top of one another in their sleeping area," said Curator of Behavioral Husbandry Jac Menish. "Once we discovered Alma was pregnant, the pair remained together as long as possible until she was moved to a private space to give birth." Mom and baby are currently living behind the scenes and doing great. Although Andre has not been reunited yet, he is in a space nearby and is able to smell mom and baby. The pup will likely become an ambassador animal here at Nashville Zoo participating in education programs and animal shows, helping guests learn more about this species.

Nashville Zoo is involved in the conservation of this species in its native range by financially contributing to the Rainforest Awareness Rescue Education Center in Iquitos, Peru, an organization working to protect tamanduas through rehabilitation and reintroduction into the rainforests in South America.

This is the Zoo's first successful tamandua birth in over five years bringing the total number of tamanduas in the Zoo's care to three. Although this species is considered of least concern to extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Southern Tamandua Species Survival Program® (SSP) to ensure genetically diverse populations of this species in human care. There are only 61 tamanduas cared for across AZA-accredited accredited Zoos, including Nashville Zoo.

Southern tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla) are the arboreal relatives to giant anteaters and can be found in rainforests, savannas, and mangroves. They are known for emitting a signature unpleasant odor as a defense mechanism to ward off predators. Tamanduas have no teeth and rely on their tongue which can reach over a foot in length. Covered with sticky saliva, the tongue probes deep into ant and termite dens, capturing insects.

To learn more about tamanduas and Nashville Zoo's conservation efforts, visit

About Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, exemplifying the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives in our backyard as well as around the world. With support from the Nashville community, donors, and sponsors, the Zoo is ranked the number one tourist attraction in Middle Tennessee and welcomes more than 1.4 million guests annually. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike just six miles south of downtown. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit