A baby giant anteater that was born at the Miami Zoo has survived despite the odds after being rejected by its mother.
The infant anteater, dubbed “Ziggy,” was abandoned shortly after birth by his mother, Laura, a 7-year-old anteater.
Zookeepers found the baby left alone and cold on one of the coldest nights of the year. Fearing the worst, they rushed him to the animal ICU.
But despite the odds being stacked against him, Zoo Miami told Daily Mail that Ziggy is thriving and growing stronger every day.
Now almost a month old, Ziggy recovered under the careful watch of the animal health team, who took to tube-feeding him since he couldn’t be nursed by his mother.
Later, the zoo tried to reunite the baby with his mother, but even though Laura allowed Ziggy to be placed on her back, she eventually showed signs of disinterest, and the team concluded she was not going to care for the infant.
Still, Ziggy was a fighter and returned to the animal hospital, where he overcame the danger period of recovery.
Zoo Miami said they are “cautiously optimistic” about his progress.
They said, “There are still obstacles ahead as there would be for any infant in this situation.”
Ron Magill, the zoo’s goodwill ambassador and communications director, called Ziggy “a positive symbol” for overcoming difficulties in 2020.
“At a time when the world is facing so many challenges,” he said, “it is uplifting to see this little guy overcome his significant challenges and continue to grow and thrive. Hopefully, he can represent a positive symbol for all of us during this holiday season!”
The baby anteater was named after Ziggy Stardust, the alter ego of the British star the late David Bowie, carrying on the zoo’s naming traditions; the first giant anteater born at the zoo in 2016 was named “Bowie” after the superstar, as well.
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