Angela Goodwin (RamanduaGirl) lives in Oregon with Pua and Stewie, anteaters who perform tasks that most domestic animals cannot – like raiding the fridge! “[They] know how to open the fridge, open the doors, open the window, open drawers, open cabinets, open containers, climb the door frame, respond to [their] name,” Goodwin writes on her Web site.
You can’t buy fresh ants at the local deli. So, for Pua’s first birthday in 2004, Goodwin made a birthday “cake” of ground beef, yogurt icing, ketchup, and a cheese “candle” on top, with blue cheese sprinkles.
Pua loves to sip out of wine glasses. It’s not real wine, it’s just sparkling grape juice–sometimes mixed with pomegranate juice for iron. She and Stewie also eat ants from logs, which Goodwin brings home as a treat.
Talk about an unusual curtain tie-back! When Goodwin’s anteaters aren’t turning up in unusual places, they wrestle and cuddle like cats and dogs and climb with their big claws. They also talk through their nose in sounds that are more like hisses, but you can understand if you pay attention, Goodwin writes on her blog.
Exotic pets like anteaters can be controversial. Some argue that the exotic pet trade is wiping out anteaters in the wild (along with hunting and habitat loss). Goodwin, who thinks “the welfare of the animal comes first,” is worried that the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act (H.R. 669) aimed at dangerous, non-native pets, would take away gentler exotics.
Pua and Stewie aren’t the only pets that Goodwin keeps. She also has two rescue dogs (this one is Hyzzie the Chihuahua), a cat and a rabbit. The menagerie has an interesting dynamic: Hyzzie sometimes tries to steal Pua’s blue cheese treats, and both dogs are afraid of the big anteater tails. But Goodwin says that all of the pets sleep together in Mom’s bed.