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Tamandua Goes on Ant-Seeking Adventure at Tacoma Zoo

Video shows a tamandua named Gonzo going for an adventure at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma on World Tamandua Day, Wednesday, November 29.

Tamandua, also known as lesser anteaters, have 16-inch long, sticky tongues used to grab insects.

Gonzo is an eight-year-old male tamandua and has lived at the zoo since his birth. Credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium via Storyful

Video transcript

- And he's going to use his 16-inch-long sticky tongue to get in there and slurp up all the bugs. Yeah. What's really interesting about them is they're actually super sustainable eaters.

So they can smell the difference between the queen and the workers. So that way they don't have to keep traveling farther and farther every night to find food. So they'll only eat enough, which is still, you know, a good amount of bugs. But you can imagine they're pretty tiny--

- Yeah.

- --to be able to sustain themselves.

- Do they eat the queens?

- They don't.

- OK.

- No. They want to keep that-- the breeding going so those colonies will stay. So you guys might be able to see just underneath his feet, he's disturbed a little sugar ant colony of some kind. And so now they're all scattering.

But his tongue, the saliva is super sticky. It's almost like rubber cement, so it sticks really easily. He's got some apparently crawling up on his ears. He's on the road again.

- He's on the move, so if we--