Nashville Zoo has announced the birth of a male spotted fanaloka pup born on March 10, 2024. The male pup was born weighing in at 106 grams (about ¼ of a pound) and is being hand-reared by the Zoo’s veterinary staff. The pup is visible from the Zoo’s Veterinary Center neonatal care rooms.

Nashville Zoo is the only facility in the United States to house and represent this elusive species according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) database. Including the birth of the pup, Nashville Zoo now has five spotted fanaloka in their care. In the spring of 2022, the Zoo welcomed Pépite, the first fanaloka to be born at Nashville Zoo and one of the first ever to be born in the United States. Pépite’s birth made headlines and he is now an ambassador animal participating in educational programming to help raise awareness for this lesser-known species. 

Nashville Zoo is involved in the conservation of this species in its native range by financially contributing to Antogil Conservation, an organization working to protect rainforests of Madagascar by raising awareness about the importance of nature and setting up development actions to improve living conditions of local communities.

Fanaloka (Fossa fossana) are native to the lowland and rainforest areas of Madagascar and listed as vulnerable according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature due to habitat destruction. This small nocturnal species is considered the second-largest endemic predator in Madagascar. The fanaloka’s diet includes small mammals, reptiles, aquatic animals, bird eggs and insects.

To learn more about spotted fanaloka and Nashville Zoo’s conservation efforts, visit