San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo's Adorable Tamandua Pup Named After Padres Super Star

What’s in a name? That which we call a pup by any other name would look as cute

San Diego Zoo

Tatis Jr., the adorable tamandua resident at the San Diego Zoo, charms the camera with a laidback pose.

There are few things as important to one’s self-identity than a name and recently, an adorable tamandua pup at the San Diego Zoo was given a name that holds power, pizzazz and superstardom to it.

Named after San Diego Padres’ No. 23, Tatis Jr. the tamandua (has a nice ring to it, right?) is one of the zoo’s newest residents. Born July 21, the pup has slowly but surely gained its independence as it learned new skills during the past weeks. He was born to first-time parents Cora and Fernando – meaning much like "El Niño” himself, Tatis Jr.’s father also has the same name!

This tamandua pup isn’t exactly a shortstop (though you can call him short stuff since he’s pint-sized), but he’s certainly the zoo’s MVP – Most Venturesome Pup! The zoo said he loves to explore, climb and wrestle with a plush anteater. During his downtime, he enjoys the occasional refreshing nap and hitching a ride on his mom’s back.

Wildlife care specialists describe Tatis Jr. as a curious and confident youngster whose favorite food is a delicious serving of waxworms.

Tamanduas are a type of anteaters that are native to South and Central America. Their hobbies include climbing trees, eating termites and using their 16-inch tongue to feast on up to 9,000 ants a day. Although the small eyes on these animals cause them to have poor vision, a tamandua’s sense of hearing and smell is spectacular.

In this sweet throwback, tamandua pup Tatis Jr. lays on mama Cora's back as a wee, little one. (August 2021)
San Diego Zoo
A bit bigger now, Tatis Jr. the tamandua still hitches a ride on mama Cora's back, though he is more than half her size now! (October 2021)