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Wednesday 16th October 2019

Keepers at Banham Zoo are overjoyed with the birth of a large hairy armadillo – the first ever to be born at the zoo.

The cute male pup was born in August to first-time parents Melanie and Pedro. Their keepers have confirmed that they are showing excellent parenting skills and have allowed them to keep a check on the pup’s development. Keepers have already been able to capture some remarkable footage of the baby.

The large hairy armadillos are primarily nocturnal (mostly active at night) and are prolific diggers.  They dig burrows for shelter during the day and when threatened will run towards the nearest hole, or attempt to burrow into the ground. They feed on ants, worms and other invertebrates that they forage for by digging in the ground.  Females usually give birth to twins after a gestation period of 60 – 75 days.  The young are weaned at two months old and sexual maturity is reached at around nine months old.  The large hairy armadillo has been known to live for over 23 years in captivity.

Andy Hallsworth, Head of Animal Training & Presentation at Banham Zoo, said “our new arrival is doing well and we are all celebrating his birth as it is the first time an armadillo has been born at the zoo.  The yet to be named pup is growing quickly and is a little bundle of energy, making trips out of the nesting box exploring its habitat, including the ‘Amazing Animals!’ stage area.”

Visitors to the zoo will be able to get their first glimpse of the little one with his parents this October half term in the “Amazing Animals!” Presentation which takes place daily; also anyone booking an On the Day Armadillo Experience* will have the opportunity to meet the youngster.

*Additional charge. Age restrictions and conditions apply.

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