Confused Connecticut conservation officers are wondering how a female anteater, who has given birth at the centre, conceived without a male in the pen.

Officials at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center tell the Greenwich Time they had removed the only male anteater from the enclosure in August, long before the six-month gestation period for baby Archie would have begun.

They feared that male, Alf, would kill another baby in the pen.

That left the mother Armani, and the young female, Alice, in the enclosure.

But little Archie was born in April anyway.

Marcella Leone, founder and director of the conservation center, suspects this might be a rare case of delayed implantation, when fertilized eggs remain dormant in the uterus for a period of time.