August 8, 2010

just say awww

It's easier than ever to find photos of anteaters online. If you haven't yet tried out the new Google images interface, definitely do a search on there; you'll be astounded at the variety of shots from around the world for both adults and baby giant anteaters!

And if it's baby anteater mugs that you seek, I've got two additional sites for you: Zooborns' anteater list and this young anteater photo list from BuzzFeed. Note that these lists both include tamanduas, which—let's face it—are mighty cute as well! •>~

August 2, 2010

etsy anteaters

Was doing a little browsing on the online craft store Etsy this weekend, and I came upon some cute giant anteater finds, which I thought I'd share! My favorites included this adorable giant anteater doll named Beryl; an amusing two-part acrylic-on-canvas painting of a hipster anteater; and a set of mini anteater cards that I actually special-ordered 50 of because they're so lovely. These items are all available for purchase, so click on the links to find out more! •>~

August 1, 2010

pilgrimage to anteater central

Last month I took a trip out to Los Angeles for the first time in several years. I was visiting a good friend for the Fourth of July weekend, but on my first day there she had to work, so I knew I'd have some time on my hands. After making my way from the airport to her office on the UCLA campus, I asked to borrow her car. I decided not to tell her right away what I was going to do with it; I worried she'd try to put the fear of LA traffic into me and insist that it was impossible. But I was not to be deterred!

It was not my first experience with LA's horrible, horrible freeways, but it was the first time I would brave them during rush hour. The day before a holiday weekend. And, as I had to meet my friend at a certain hour back at her office, under a time crunch. Right.

Of course by now you've guessed my destination, no? It was none other than the mecca of all things giant anteater: the University of California at Irvine, about 40 miles south of UCLA. I had for many, many years wanted to make a pilgrimage to the campus of the only college in the world whose mascot is my favorite animal. And now I was getting my chance! In case you're unfamiliar with the legacy of UCI's Peter the Anteater, by the way, I urge you to check it out. It. Is. Awesome.

Traffic indeed sucked, so it was a real crawl to Irvine. This left me with but an hour to take in all I could see before turning around and braving the reverse commute back into the heart of LA. Turning onto the main campus drive, the first thing I noticed was giant anteaters on the street signs! Very cool. I parked and tried to find my bearings. After a brief stop in the visitor center I meandered around that corner of what turned out to be a huge campus. Signs of anteater life were everywhere—on walkways, on signs, in the form of statues both whimsical and stately, even on vending machines! I tried to find the main athletic arena, where surely Eater nation would be on full display, but students I met kept telling me it wasn't in walking distance, and I didn't have time to drive. So, with the minutes slipping by at an unbelievable pace, I ducked into the school store to purchase a few anteater knick-knacks before reluctantly turning back toward UCI's cousin to the north.

Fortunately, traffic was kinder to me on the return, and my friend could only laugh when I told her that I'd spent my afternoon in search of a certain mammal with a large fuzzy snout. Whatever. She knows me well enough to know that this crazy obsession isn't going away anytime soon! Of course, someday, when I have a little more flexibility in my schedule, I'll have to make it back for a real visit. But if I die tomorrow, I can at least say that I've stepped foot in the land of the Anteaters. Zot! •>~

July 31, 2010

chasing anteaters

It's summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, which for many of you means vacation! And what better time to visit a friendly giant anteater—or three? To find the anteaters on view nearest you (or your travel destination) check out the ISIS's handy dandy listing of all giant anteater holdings around the world. Note that not all the anteaters in a given zoo or wildlife park are on permanent display, but you can generally assume at least one or two are out and about, ready to greet visitors.

But why stop at captive critters? A fascinating article in The New York Times earlier this year described a fantastic trip idea: journey to Guyana in South America to seek out giant anteaters in their natural habitat! Tours can be a bit pricey, but oh, to catch sight of the fluff on an anteater's tail as she hunts for breakfast in a wild savannah! If you're interested in learning more, Guyana's tourism board hosts a helpful website devoted to nature travels, with a specific guide to scoping out wild giant anteaters while visiting that country. Consider it officially on my bucket list! •>~

February 20, 2010

name that anteater!

If you've ever wanted to name a giant anteater of your very own, now's your chance! All it'll take is some imagination and . . . $20,000! The folks at the Santa Ana Zoo have purchased two giant anteaters, one male and one female, from a breeding program down in South America. But they're looking for funds to help pay for their new anteater exhibit, which is set to open to the public in April. So to entice potential sponsors, the zoo is offering anyone willing to donate $20,000 the right to name one of the anteaters!

The University of California at Irvine's alumni association has already come up with the money to purchase naming rights for the male. As you may already know, UCI's mascot is Peter the Anteater, so the new Santa Ana male will, naturally, be named Peter, too! As for the female, who's currently called Onion, a local businessman with connections to the University of Southern California—a rival college to UCI—is trying to raise enough cash to rename her Helen of Troy, in honor of the USC Trojans! That would certainly make for an amusing pairing :) •>~

February 19, 2010

new bundle of joy

Lovely to hear about the birth of a baby giant anteater at the Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. I can't find his name, but he was born in late December to a female named Adelhi. Welcome to the world, little guy! •>~

January 17, 2010

roaming on pandora?

If any of you have seen the blockbuster film Avatar, you may have noticed that the horses on Pandora have remarkably familiar-looking heads. Indeed, I'd be shocked if the graphic artists who designed the so-called direhorses didn't have the giant anteater in mind when they set about creating these amazing animals! In one scene in particular, you'll see a direhorse sticking its long tongue out repeatedly to lap up some plant sap in the exact same manner as a giant anteater. Sweet! •>~