Bulger's Beat: Nashville Zoo gives backstage tour - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Nashville Zoo gives backstage tour

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It's a safe bet you never knew the Nashville Zoo has anteaters, but the facility actually houses the largest collection in the world, and they are kept far from any tourists.

It's all part of the zoo's effort to study the unique creatures and also to get them ready to hang out with humans.

"They're such an odd looking creature, but they're so neat. They're really fun to work with," said supervisor Karen Rice.

Fourteen of the threatened species are free to roam, breed and eat while scientists keep a watchful eye. One thing they do know is the anteaters eat more than just ants.

"They do like a lot of fruits. They eat almost every type of citrus fruit: limes, oranges, grapefruits, everything," Rice said.

They do have claws, but you're more likely to get licked then pawed.

"With anteaters, it's safe to put your hand up, because they have no teeth so they wouldn't bite you," Rice said.

The zoo is also preparing for an upcoming exhibit called Kangaroo Kickabout, in which visitors will be able to come inside the fence for a closeup view of a 'roo.

"There will be roos that wander over and want to interact in the same way. They'll want to be up close and personal," said kangaroo keeper Hunt Whitaker.

Kangaroo Kickabout is set to open in September.

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