Orphaned Baby Anteater Learns to Forage With Help From His Teddy Bear

An animal caregiver at the Merazonia Wildlife Rescue in Ecuador shared the wonderful story of Goliath, a baby giant anteater who was found by the side of the road next to the body of his mother, who had been hit by a car. He was only two months old. Goliath was a bit shy at first, but time and attention allowed him to come out of his shell and become a silly boy. When he got too big to be held, they gave him a Teddy bear, and that comfort allowed him to explore foraging for ants and termites.

We were taking him out to try and encourage him to discover the world of ants and termites. He was not interested at all. He was actually quite scared of termites and ants when they crawled on him he would try and brush them off. …Eventually he got the hang of it and he started foraging himself. He was still a baby and he still needed that physical contact so we tried to encourage him to cling on to a stuffed toy in order to protect ourselves, but also to make it a bit more natural for him in his rehabilitation. 

Eventually, Goliath was moved to a larger reserve in northern Ecuador. The separation was difficult for both anteater and human, but eventually Goliath made himself comfortable in his new home.

He was very scared at first because it’s a completely new environment for him, but he soon very quickly settled in. It took just a few hours for him to realize that he was in ant and termite heaven. I can only compare it to sending your kids off to school. It’s an incredibly bittersweet moment to see them go off.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.