||Oakridge, Oregon, USA|
is Aurora Jane and she's a Long-tailed Tamandua (anteater), the Latin
name is Tamandua tetradactyla longicaudata.
Aurora is not your typical pet because she was rescued. Her full history is
not known. Her age is unknown, but she may be four to five years old. One night I
got a call from a friend who runs a rescue and she said there was a
tamandua in desperate need of a home. She was taking in several other
animals so was short on room and knew we would take good care of the
tamandua, as I own one already, and had another until he passed away. At
first I said only if it was a male but after discussing it with the family
we agreed to take it no matter the gender.
And so we were off to pick up what turned out to be a very pregnant female.
We had a peek at her there but she was not going to let us move her from
her box to the crate so we took her home that way. When we got her home we
had to move her from the box to her cage because the box was too big for
the door. I've never seen a tamandua hyperventilate before. We thought she
might die of fright. She was in surprisingly good health though aside from
Then I saw how big her belly was and declared her pregnant as a cow. She
calmed down and soon was exploring my room, though not that same night. She
was desperate for a friend but Pua, my first anteater, wanted nothing to do
with her and would chase her off. Aurora would camp out as close as Pua
would let her but she wasn't winning her over. Aurora got so desperate for
a friend she was grooming my geriatric cat. She would let me touch her but
didn't like it and would only take treats of cheese from me.
Less than two weeks after arrival Aurora had her baby. Then Pua got curious
but Aurora would chase her off like the momma bear she is. Aurora has been
a great momma. Eventually, when baby was bigger, Pua won Aurora over. It
took lots of grooming by Pua. Pua did lots of grooming while Aurora
pretended to ignore her. Now they are best friends. They play together and
snuggle together but when it's time for bed Pua still chooses to sleep
alone in her washer while mother and Daughter sleep together in their
Pua almost seems to think Aurora is her new mommy, as she loves to try and
ride her like the babies ride their moms. Though, now that she is big,
Aurora sometimes tries to ride her own baby too. One time Baby was riding
Aurora and Pua hopped onto the big baby but the triple decker anteater did
not go very far. Aurora is so gentle and sweet she puts up with a lot from
both her babies, adopted and natural.
To Aurora, she is no pet. I am but her lowly servant and must bring her
fresh cold food. She won't eat unless her food is ice cold. She still
growls at me if I pick her up but she is very sweet and has never tried to
hurt me. She is just not shy of telling you when she doesn't like
something. She's not the brightest anteater. She kept panicking that her
baby was lost but baby was merely clinging to her rump, like they are
supposed to do. With some help from me she was able to figure that out
after a while.
Aurora may not be a true, snuggle and cuddle pet, but is happy here with
her baby and best friend so I am happy with her. In fact, I love her a
great deal. Despite her not returning my feelings Aurora has stolen a
special place in my heart. She's a sweet gentle soul.
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