Detroit Zoo anteater dies 'at impressive age of 26'

(Photo: Detroit Zoo)

The Detroit Zoo announced Monday that a 26-year-old anteater has died.

Chesley has been at the zoo since 1997.

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She was the oldest living giant anteater in a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. The zoo called her age "impressive." In the wild, the species has a lifespan of about 14 years.

Chesley and her great-granddaughter, Bissell (Photo: Detroit Zoo)

"Chesley or ‘Mama-Ches’ (as she was affectionately known) was a great companion to several other anteaters including her daughter, Raya, and Bissell, her great-granddaughter. She often enjoyed taking naps in the sunshine and tearing apart one of her favorite treats, an avocado, with her front claws. As her species name suggests, Chesley also enjoyed digging up ants and other insects she could find in her outdoor habitat," said her caretaker, Betsie Meister, the associate curator of mammals.

(Photo: Detroit Zoo)