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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 16:59 GMT
Orinoco's passion nose no bounds
Stella the anteater

A Cornish zoo is playing cupid after acquiring a new female anteater.

Stella has moved into the enclosure of Orinoco, a two-year-old southern tamandua anteater at Newquay Zoo.

Staff said at first Orinoco took little interest in his new companion, possibly due to the fact the creatures are short-sighted.

"Then as he got closer and realised the new arrival was a female his attitude changed to very excited," said Stewart Muir, assistant director at the zoo.

'Wonderful temperament'

Stella, a female tamandua, has been donated to the zoo from a private collection. Mr Muir said: "She has a wonderful temperament and seems to have settled in very quickly.

"These two are a potential breeding pair and form part of the European breeding programme for this threatened species."

The small anteaters can hoover up 9,000 ants per day and their tongue, which be up to 40cm long, can flick at 150 times per minute.

They also eat bees and honey.

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