The first southern Tamandua maintained in a North American collection was an individual (of unknown sex) imported in 1883; the animal was housed at the Philadelphia Zoo. Longevity data indicate that the species may live as long as 20+ years. The oldest living animals are a female at Houston Zoo (studbook #243, at 11.7 years of age) and a male at Sacramento Zoo (studbook #181, at 18.0 years of age). The oldest female to breed did so at an age of 10.6 years, while the oldest male was 18.3 years of age at estimated conception. Despite a maximum longevity of 19.18 years (over the last decade), median life expectancy is much lower.
There continue to be various husbandry challenges associated with the maintenance of this species in captivity, most of which relate to nutrition. Tamandua diets apparently need to be high in Vitamins K and E, fiber, protein, and ash, but low in calcium. Similar to the dietary needs of Giant Anteaters, tamanduas apparently thrive with the addition of taurine, as well as acidic content, to their diets. In order to further evaluate some of these nutritional issues, facilities that house (or have recently housed) tamanduas are encouraged to submit any of the institution’s relevant diet notes, and/or nutritional analyses, to the Studbook Keeper.
For zoos which are interested in acquiring imported tamanduas, there are a handful of importers in the US that work with this species. Any facility that is looking to acquire wild-caught animals (or “captive-bred” animals from any non-AZA facility, for that matter) is encouraged to contact the Studbook Keeper first.
After logging in to the AZA website, members can view the Breeding and Transfer Plan through the link on this page: