Mysterious anteater birth without a mate

A female anteater (Tamandua Mirim) carries her baby at the zoo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 9, 2010.

Zoo staff have been left baffled after an anteater gave birth at a Connecticut conservation center despite being separated from the only male anteater.

Officials at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center told the Greenwich Time they recently welcomed little Archie into the world.

The arrival was a shock as they had removed the only male anteater from the enclosure in August due to concerns he would kill another baby in the pen.

They left the mother, named Armani, and the young female anteater Alice, in the zoo enclosure, but staff were surprised and confused when baby Archie was born in April.

Founder of the conservation center, Marcella Leone, believes this might be a rare case of delayed implantation which occurs when a fertilized egg remains dormant in the uterus, AP reported. 

CNN reported the normal gestation time for an anteater is six months.

Armani and Archie appear to be happy and healthy, zoo officials said.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.