A NEW arrival is being celebrated after the birth of Winchester’s very first anteater was born earlier this month.

One of Marwell Wildlife’s resident anteaters gave birth to the now nearly three-week-old pup, weighing in at a little over three pounds.

The newest addition to the zoo is baby to two-year-old Chiquita and her mate nine-year-old Ernesto who met around nine months ago.

Shelly Parkes, collection manager at Marwell Zoo said: “We have been patiently waiting and are absolutely delighted to have the first successful anteater birth here at Marwell.

“We are so proud to see Chiquita carrying the baby as it hitches a ride across her back and demonstrating maternal instincts as it’s her first pup. She seems content and we can hear the pup feeding and occasionally whistling as she talks to mum.”

The zoo has asked for potential names from the public, as part of a competition featured on its facebook page, which offers free entry into the zoo for the winner.

The giant anteaters, known for their long sticky tongues which can reach up to 50cm in length, are native to South America and are categorised as vulnerable in the wild.