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Could it be love for Marwell's giant anteaters?
Marwell Wildlife's seven-year-old male anteater, Ernesto, has a new companion and animal keepers are hoping they have a bright future together.
Inti, a two-year-old female anteater from Aalborg Zoo in Denmark, arrived at Marwell at the end of August. Ernesto and Inti have been next door neighbours for the last month, whilst keepers assessed their reaction to one another.
But this week, the anteater keepers decided it was time to for the two to meet face to face, and they are getting on brilliantly!
Dave White, section manager at Marwell Wildlife said:
"We were all hoping that these two would get on well and for a first time mixing it was really successful. They seem like a compatible pair and very content in each other's company.
"We are now hoping for some positive mating to take place which could see the arrival of our first ever baby giant anteater!"
Marwell is part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for Giant anteaters.
These animals are native to Central and South America and are classified as vulnerable in the wild (IUCN Red list).
A population loss of at least 30% over the past 10 years has been estimated based on local extinctions, habitat loss, and deaths caused by fires and vehicles.
To watch a video of the anteaters meeting for the first time visit www.youtube.com/marwellwildlife