Are tamanduas really a nuisance?

Posted by: Tamandua Girl / Category: , ,

So was questioned on if tamanduas are really a nuisance. I remember that being the wording of the article on the study that capuchin monkeys and tamanduas were tied as most commonly killed as a nuisance animal. I swear I stumble across that article a lot but now that I need a link to it can't find it. I suppose one old study is not as important as more recent facts however.

So yes attitudes vary by region and in some areas tamanduas may be highly regarded but in other areas they are not. There are a lot more problems where wild is being taken over by urban. They are also killed on site by many believing that tamanduas kill dogs. They wander into homes, parks, and other urban areas, dig in the trash, captured in agricultural areas(they do love fruit and will dig up plants to get at bugs), and generally get themselves into trouble, a nuisance.

The stories below are from Brazil and not Guyana. In Brazil there are wildlife rescues and the zoo that takes these refugees. One person from Brazil once told me they had never seen a healthy tamandua in the wild. This is because healthy and adult ones know to avoid people and are very good at hiding. They radio tagged some tamanduas in one study and they considered themselves extremely lucky if they got to set eyes on one. Radio tagged so they knew where they were but still couldn't spot them. So it's no easy task to catch a wild anteater out in the jungle. A little easier to catch one that wandered into town.

found in a home
Foto: Esther Nazareth/RIOZOO

Found in ditch
Foto: Reprodução/TV Bahia

Found in yard
Foto: Divulgação/PM-SC

Seriously they just walk in the yard and people freak and call firemen to deal with it.

Found in middle of freeway

Baby found in road, would guess mom hit by car
Foto: Miro de Souza/Agência RBS

Captured by firemen for being found in the town ship
Foto: Divulgação/Assessoria de Comunicação Social do                 CBMGO

This appears to be the same situation but not 100% on the translation, taken by firemen, baby tamandua,,MUL145241-5606,00-MACAQUINHO+DO+RIOZOO+E+REJEITADO+PELA+MAE.html

Found on highway
Foto: Divulgação/Corpo de Bombeiros

Mother killed on highway
Foto: Charles Guerra

Found in the township
Foto: Divulgação

Found on a light pole

Now if I did that right the photos link to the stories.

Below are photos with descriptions from my memory of them.

Wandered into home being threatened with a broom

At dumpster

Injured and hiding

Caged by workers at a construction site, to keep it safe

I'm not sure if that's a garbage can but he seems to think it is

Mom electrocuted and baby brought to rescue

But there are lots of those on YT lets focus on a few not where you belong ones

Maybe he wants a scooter. He's seriously annoyed by that invisible force field.

Video of the fellow on the light pole

trying to chase one off their balcony area.

My translation says the people were scared of her and called to have her removed,id_sessao=9&id_noticia=11140/noticia_interna.shtml

If I ever find that study I'll post it but I need to get to work.

Just an edit. Most exotic animals are bred in captivity for many generations and none taken from the wild. Most wild mammals you wouldn't want anywhere near you anyway. Anteaters are among the exceptions. Some reptiles people still take from the wild where it is legal and there are enough. I suppose it is no different than hunting, love is as real a necessity as food. Only in the case of taken for pets they are not killed, in the legal trade. We are all against poaching.

We do hope Pua will have a baby with her new mate now that she is at peak health and she is still young enough. We, the anteater community, are having more success at domestic breeding. I do know of a few born this year but they are not available, either to young or not for sale. Over time with enough success none will need to be taken from the wild any more and in an ideal world all "refugee" tamanduas could be rehabbed to the wild or if not possible(real world the wild is still getting taken away) find loving homes where they can be happy.


  1. Tamandua Girl Says:

    And a timely article(would have been a bit more timely if I had been sent it before my post)

    The Defenseless Molested one
    Tamanduá. We expect of them to eat termites and ants. In exchange, we burn its house, we kill it and run it over.
    (it's in Brazilian Portuguese)

    “Due to expansion of agriculture and the cities, tamanduás are losing their habitat and are obliged to travel a lot, they are slow, with crepuscular habits, are very run over in the roads”, explains the veterinary medicine Flávia Miranda, coordinator of the Tamanduá Project. “At this time, of winter end, it is very common to be collecting animals with burnings or wounded in the roads. The centers of recovery of wild and zoos animals are full of tamanduás-mirins wounded or younglings that had lost their mother”.

    Unfortunately not the whole article online but there is the gist of it.

    Since I'm here. Did find this CITES quote:
    "Numbers unknown; all over its range the species is subject to hunting by locals (probably mostly purposeless, some skin use) and their dogs; considerable numbers are run over by vehicles."

    Mostly purposeless killing pretty much covers it.

    CITEs recorded about 10 exported per year in the 80's, mostly from Guyana (now only from Guyana). They don't keep their online pages updated but numbers wouldn't have increased much and often heard talk of numbers being allowed to be exported going down. So good to be on the list early. Anyway exports are not in any number to cause problems for wild populations.

  1. Unknown Says:

    Sorry I couldn't post any more msgs on YT...
    I would never buy an animal on the street. The family who was keeping it was travelling with her on a boat and obviously planned to keep it. They didn't offer her for sale from the beginning. Time going by they started to get nerved by her and shyly asked if we wanted to buy her. They mentioned before how cheap they got her at the market (about 5 USD) and how cute she was... Still, there's the doubt if that they are really good actors and it was just a selling strategy and we are actually a part of the problem, but I don't think so. And I don't hope so. But that's exactly why I want other ppl to think about it and not making a mistake with a good intention...

    I've seen the tamanduas in protected areas, so I think we can call it wild... at least more or less.
    Sorry again for the slave.