Enclosure also had 3 stacked together dry orange trees to provide climbing grounds, as well as had a lot of piece of cloth hanging like hammocks to add additional support for climbing. They also served the purpose of providing security in case if baby tamandua would fall from the higher branches. While they learn to climb it is a very common issue.
For the injured tamandua( due to her broken paw) we had to trim the trees to limit her climbing and place boards on the sides of the enclosure, leaving just the bottom and the top for air movement and light.
Since that enclosure is inside out house, to make sure that the termites that she was given daily would not escape, we used 2 strong plastic containers: smaller one had the actual termites nest, but it was placed inside the bigger plastic container that contained 2 inches of water. Termites, even if they were escaping the first container are not able to pass the water.
Outside enclosure- transitional enclosure
The idea is to provide as close to natural environment conditions: have trees for tamandua to climb and exercise, areas where she can hide while sleeping, a lot of hiding places and old wood that will be easily populated with termites. Since we had only 3 naturally growing trees, we planted bananas and heliconias( they attract ants, providing a natural source of food), a couple of hibiscuses, because they grow fast and even if she breaks some branches, it continuously provides area for climbing. We cemented a big, old cahoon tree into the ground, which she continuously used for sleeping, and cemented in a couple of old orange trees, that became breeding grounds for termites. started with cementing the structure into the ground
ended up - with some necessary additions- plastic wings on the side to protect from the rain with strong wind, tarps on the roof and half of the enclosure walls covered with thatch palm leaves. Tarps became necessary because in the rainy season in nature , tamandua would have a variety of areas to hide from the rain, while in the enclosure, the choices are limited.
Thatch leaves were an absolutely necessity, especially in the beginning. The first few times, i was bringing her into that enclosure only for an hour or 2, because she was getting very agitated, running into the mesh walls- concentrating only on the smells of wilderness, and not noticing the mesh. As soon as we enclosed the walls from inside, she started exploring the central area of the enclosure, and relaxed. For the first 2 weeks, she was progressively spending more time in the enclosure from 1- 4 hours.
between the air roots of this tree
between the thatch leaves and the wall of the enclosure- very cool and dark area
She dug out the center of the rotten cahoon but never used it for sleeping:
Termites were brought every 2- 3 days, and as we placed them in different parts of the enclosure, they were building tunnels thru the ground as well as on the banana and cahoon. Tamandua would dig them out for short period of time and move to the next tunnel, or another nest.