The Chattanooga Zoo has begun construction on a new exhibit that eventually will house giant anteaters with the potential for breeding, a news release states.
The exhibit, first housing one giant anteater, will be designed to house multiple animals that could breed under the zoo's participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan. It will be built in what is now open space within the zoo's perimeter.
Zoo CEO and President Dardenelle Long said adding the new exhibit "is indicative of our commitment to preserve these incredible animals. We are excited to participate in an additional [Species Survival Plan] program and assist with the preservation of the giant anteater species."
The exhibit will feature an indoor holding and keeper area, a large outdoor habitat with a pond and multiple public viewing areas, according to the release.
The giant anteater eats up to 35,000 ants and termites per day. They can grow up to 140 pounds and measure up to seven feet long from the tips of their snouts to the ends of their tails.
Nationwide there are more than 500 Species Survival Plan programs at Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities. The SSP program's purpose is to manage species populations at AZA facilities and enhance the preservation of those species in the wild.