By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

A SPECIAL teddy bear has been standing in as mum for a tiny baby anteater at ZSL London Zoo

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Videographer / director: ZooBorns
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ruby Coote
Editor: James Thorne

The cuddly teddy bear is the baby's surrogate mum

Nicknamed ‘Beanie’, the youngster was born on December 28th 2016, however zookeepers quickly discovered the infant was unable to be cared for by her biological mother.

Beanie is also cared for by zookeeper Amy Heath

Zookeeper Amy Heath said: "ZSL London Zoo is home to a group of giant anteaters, male Bonito and his female mates, Inca and Sauna.

Beanie has to be bottle - fed every two to three hours

"We were delighted when we discovered Inca was pregnant; but unfortunately she rejected the infant so we’ve stepped in to help until the baby is big enough to go back in with her parents."

Amy said: "She's been practising her digging skills on her teddy bear, or even sometimes my shoulder!"

The young grey and black baby anteater - who already has her impressive curved claws - is cared for by Amy and comforted by her giant cuddly teddy bear.

Baby anteaters usually get around by holding onto their mother's backs

Her carer said: “Hand-rearing an animal is an amazing privilege, but it’s hard work too; we’ve been bottle-feeding Beanie every two to three hours with special replacement milk and making sure she’s kept warm at night with a temperature-controlled incubator."

The youngster will be hand - fed till she's 6 months old

Although she is a tiny 1.6kg now, eventually she’ll grow up to 7ft and weigh as much as 45kg.

The tiny anteater will eventually grow to be up to 7 ft in length

Amy added: "She’s a very strong youngster with a sweet personality; she loves to burrow her long snout into my neck for a cuddle!”

Once she is older, Beanie will be reintroduced back into the anteater group

"While they’ve got no teeth, anteater’s claws are the perfect tools for digging an opening into ants’ nests and Beanie has been practising her digging skills on her teddy bear, or even sometimes my shoulder!”