Usa Today Trip Logo

Giant Anteaters Walk on Their Fists

Quick Facts

Conservation status : Vulnerable
Weight of males : Up to 110 pounds
Tongue length : 2 feet
Lifespan in the wild : 14-16 years

Our Giant Anteater

Virginia Safari Park is home to several giant anteaters, which are the largest of their species. They’re also sometimes called ant bears and they can live for up to 16 years in captivity.

In the Wild

Giant anteaters are native to Central and South America and mostly live on the ground, unlike the other three anteater species who live in trees. You can find giant anteaters in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands and rainforests. Mostly solitary animals, anteater young do live with their mothers for nine to 10 months.


Giant anteaters are considered vulnerable because their native habitats are disappearing in Central and South America. Trophy hunters also pursue the giant anteater, and anteaters are often hit by vehicles on the roads. Organizations in their homelands, as well as parks like ours, work to conserve the anteater.

Read how we help

Learn What the Giant Anteater Eats

Insectivorous mammals, giant anteaters eat ants, of course, and also termites. Their strong sense of smell helps them locate the up to 35,000 insects they ingest daily.

Anteater's Habitat

Giant Anteaters are found throughout Central and South America except for Guatemala, Uruguay, and El Salvador, where they are considered to be extinct. They live in wetlands, grasslands, and tropical forests. Though anteaters live in overlapping home ranges, they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters will carry their young on their backs until weaning them.

See our anteaters

Your Visit

Plan your trip to the Virginia Safari Park! Get driving directions from seven nearby cities/states, as well as links to other local attractions. You can also buy tickets and download a map of the park.

Meet the Other Animals