First Baby of 2023

Posted January 5, 2023

Isla the tamandua gives birth to healthy pup 

CINCINNATI, OH (January 5, 2023) The Zoo year is off to a great start with the arrival of a healthy baby tamandua!!  Nine-year-old Isla gave birth early this morning at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden after being on birth watch for more than a month. Sex of the pup has not yet been determined. 

Photos and Video 

“The birth window for tamanduas is 130-190 days, and Isla’s pup came at the very end of that window,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s zoological manager Julie Grove. “Our Zoo Volunteer Observer (ZVO) team has been monitoring Isla’s every move since mid-November, and our care team has performed regular ultrasounds to track fetal development. Isla’s keepers have established an amazing bond with her, and she cooperates fully with ultrasounds and other health-related procedures.” 

This TikTok shared by @CincinnatiZoo highlights the hard work and dedication that the tamandua care team put into managing her pregnancy.  Zookeeper Colleen Adams shares more about Isla and her prenatal care in a recent Cincinnati Zoo Tales podcast. 

The long birth window created an opportunity for Zoo employees to participate in a baby pool.  Each date/time guess was $5, and all proceeds will be sent to the Anteaters & Highways project (  The winner will be among the first to see the baby up close!  

Also called the lesser anteater, the tamandua uses its long snout to sniff out ant, termite, and bee colonies. Long claws enable it to dig into nests, and a long sticky tongue licks up the insects. A single tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day!  

Look for pup-dates, including when you might be able to see the baby, on the Zoo’s social channels. 

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursdays and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during PNC Festival of Lights, which runs through January 8, 2023.  Penguin Days start January 9 and features deeply discounted admission and Penguin Parades on select days.  Zoo hours will shift back to 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. For more information, visit