Pregnant southern tamandua (aka lesser anteater) Rio at the Denver Zoo

DENVER - Veterinary staffers at the Denver Zoo are administering prenatal care to a pregnant anteater named Rio.

Rio, a southern tamandua, is part of the zoo's Education Collection along with her mate, Quito. Veterinarians believe she will give birth around March.

As the birth date approaches, the Zoo says Rio will be kept in a nest box to make her feel safe and allow her caregivers to keep track of the pregnancy. For the remainder of her pregnancy, she will not be traveling away from the zoo.

Rio was born in November 2004 at Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. Quito was born in August 2012 at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.

Southern tamanduas, which are often called lesser anteaters, are native to South America east of the Andes from Venezuela to Argentina and Uruguay. Their tongues can reach 16 inches to feed on insects.