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First Spotted Fanaloka Born in the US Debuts at Nashville Zoo

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Zookeepers at the Nashville Zoo recently welcomed the first known spotted fanaloka to be born in the United States, footage released on Friday, May 13, shows.

The male pup was born on April 29 to a pair of rare fanalokas that recently arrived at the zoo.

Fanalokas – who are related to mongooses – are native to the lowland and rainforest areas of Madagascar and were listed as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2016 due to deforestation and hunting. The nocturnal species is considered the second-largest predator in Madagascar, with a diet consisting of small mammals, reptiles, aquatic animals, bird eggs, and insects.

“We are honored to have them here and to help conserve this vulnerable species,” the zoo said on their Facebook page on Friday morning. Credit: Nashville Zoo via Storyful

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