Nashville Zoo Welcomes a Rare Baby Spotted Fanaloka –– the First to be Born in America

·2 min read
spotted fanaloka
spotted fanaloka

Courtesy Nashville Zoo

The Nashville Zoo has added an adorable lesser-known species to its assembly of animals.

The zoo welcomed a male spotted fanaloka on April 29, which is the first pup of its kind to be born in the United States. The baby was born to a pair of fanalokas that recently arrived at the zoo.

The veterinary staff is hand-rearing the "healthy and alert" pup in the neonatal care room, according to the zoo. Both parents are also being kept in an area out of public view currently.

Nashville is currently working on breeding and conserving the species, which is endemic to Madagascar.

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The three fanalokas are the only members of its species living at an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) facility in this county.

"We are honored to have them here and to help conserve this vulnerable species!" said the zoo on Facebook.

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Fanalokas are small carnivores native to the lowlands and rainforest of Madagascar and are listed as vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to habitat destruction.

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They are listed as the second-largest predator in the region. They consume small mammals, reptiles, bird eggs, aquatic animals, and insects.