Franklin Park Zoo’s 2012 PreZOOdential candidate:
Jockamo, giant anteaterPlatform: Promoting a healthy lifestyle
As one of the newer residents of Franklin Park Zoo, Jockamo the giant anteater has proven to be a mover and shaker. Since his exhibit opened in April, visitors have delighted in watching him explore his new space, demonstrate his powerful digging skills and show off the incredible way in which he eats. One of the most common questions is “Does he really eat ants?” In the wild, yes, but at the Zoo Jockamo enjoys a diet of specially formulated biscuits, mealworms and crickets.
These animals can consume up to 1,000 insects in a few minutes with their sticky 2-foot-long tongue, and up to 30,000 ants and termites in a day. While that sounds like a lot, it’s not overeating for a giant anteater! To highlight the way giant anteaters eat, zookeepers can attach a special feeding tube to the outside of Jockamo’s exhibit, which is designed to give visitors a rare glimpse at this animal’s exceptionally long, sticky tongue.
If elected, Jockamo promises to be a strong voice for the importance of healthy eating and exercise.
Photo courtesy of Robert Klein.