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Watch now: Lincoln Children's Zoo welcomes anteater pup

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The Lincoln Children's Zoo has welcomed an anteater pup to its fur, scale and feather-clad family.

The zoo's giant anteater Maisy gave birth to a healthy pup May 29. The pup has been named Lancaster after his or her home county.

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Zoo officials say it's too early to determine whether Lancaster is male or female — it can take several weeks for the sex of a pup to become noticeable — but an announcement will be made soon.

Giant anteaters are categorized as a vulnerable species by the International Union Conservation of Nature, and they have a high risk of extinction.

Because of that, Lincoln Children's Zoo CEO Evan Killeen said Lancaster's arrival was especially notable.

"With the continued decrease in population of giant anteaters, this birth is incredibly important for animal conservation efforts," he said. "We're so excited for everyone to meet Lancaster."

Killeen said Maisy, who is 3 years old, has been a great mother so far.

Maisy was pregnant for about six months. After birth, giant anteater pups will crawl on their mother's back, where they'll reside for up to a year, getting down periodically to explore.

Lancaster's birth was planned as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's Species Survival Plan, which identifies potential breeding opportunities for endangered animal populations.

The public will be able to see Lancaster starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. The pup and mom will only be in their exhibit from 10 a.m. to noon each day. Because they will have indoor access, they may not always be visible.

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News intern

Jenna Thompson is a news intern who has previous writing and editing experience with her college paper and several literary journals. She is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln pursuing degrees in English and journalism.

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