DENVER (CBS4) – A popular anteater at the Denver Zoo is expecting.

According to zoo officials, Rio, a southern tamandua, is taking it easy behind the scenes in the zoo’s Gates Animal Housing center.

“After Rio’s latest ultrasound, veterinarians now believe she will give birth around March,” zoo officials said in a statement.

It will be the first birth for Rio and her mate, Quito. Both animals aren’t ever on exhibit at the zoo, but they are popular in outreach visits and VIP tours. Rio won’t travel from the zoo during her pregnancy.

“Southern tamanduas are a species of anteater, often called lesser anteaters. They inhabit South America, east of the Andes, from Venezuela to Argentina and Uruguay,” the zoo said. “Their habitat ranges from savanna and thorn scrub to rainforests and they are well adapted to life both in trees and on the ground. In the wild they use tongues that can reach 16 inches to feed on insects such as termites and ants.”


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