The Zoo’s Baby Anteater Gets a Name, Chosen by Mom

It’s official: giant anteater Mirapi has chosen a name for her male cub.

Baby Anteater
The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park’s newly-named giant anteater pup Pablo holds on tight as mom Maripe makes her decision. (Photo: Mehgan Murphy / National Zoo)

At a naming ceremony yesterday at the National Zoo, three decorated flowerpots contained “enrichment objects,” or rather, delicious foods that anteaters love to eat—a grapefruit, a mango, and a hard-boiled egg. Each pot was set next to a stake bearing one of three names—Demetrio, Pablo and Fausto.
Despite the audience, she took a long walk around the entire perimeter of her yard, sniffing along the way. Curiously, she inspected the three flowerpots. Each was decorated with tiny drawings of ants. Maripe seemed to enjoy the suspense as she walked away from the pots as if deliberating. Finally, she returned to the pot labeled “Pablo.”

And that’s how the baby got its name.

Born on December 7, 2010, the little guy has been waiting for weeks to be named. The process started with five names chosen by staff members in early March. After weeks of viewer voting on the National Zoo’s web site, three final names were chosen: Demetrio, Pablo and Fausto.