Southern Three-banded Armadillos ~
Southern three-banded armadillos are native to rainforests and grasslands of northern South America. It is the only armadillo species capable of rolling into a completely enclosed ball to avoid predation. This species uses its powerful front claws to gain access to ants and termites living in logs or mounds. Unfortunately, populations of this species are declining due to over-hunting and habitat destruction. The zoo participates in the Southern three-banded armadillo Species Survival Plan breeding program with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited institutions to help ensure the sustainability of the population of this species in human care.
At the zoo, we care for three armadillos: one female, Violet; her mate, Rocco; and his son, Stewart. Early in the day, the armadillos are usually buried in mulch, sleeping in their habitats. Later in the day, though, you’ll see them actively investigating their environment.
We feed the armadillos a special zoo insectivore pellet, apples, and mealworms. For entertainment, the armadillos enjoy rotten logs, boxes, and bags to forage in. Plastic pools filled with sand and mulch are a favorite for digging. They like to chase small plastic boomer balls and enjoy any hiding structures, such as rabbit huts, for new places to sleep.