Nashville Zoo welcomes 1st spotted fanaloka born in U.S.

The Nashville Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a species most people have never heard of: the spotted fanaloka.

Fanaloka are small carnivores from Madagascar, according to the zoo. It’s the first known birth of a spotted fanaloka in the United States.

The male pup’s parents arrived at the zoo recently and will be "living behind the scenes." They’re the only known fanaloka to live at an American zoo.


Spotted fanaloka pup (photo courtesy Nashville Zoo)

Fanalokas are related to mongooses and are listed as a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature because of deforestation and hunting. They’re the second-largest predator in Madagascar and eat small mammals, reptiles, aquatic animals, bird eggs and insects.

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"We are honored to have them here and to help conserve this vulnerable species!" the zoo said. 


Spotted fanaloka pup (photo courtesy Nashville Zoo)