First armadillo born in Point Defiance Zoo history

Image 1 of 4

TACOMA, Wash. — The first armadillo pup in the 116-year history of the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was born last month.

Southern three-banded armadillos Vespa and Scooter welcomed the healthy female pup into the world.

“She is a healthy and perfect little replica of her parents,” said the zoo’s head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf.

The 2-week-old pup is beginning to open her eyes and will remain in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater area of the zoo while she nurses and bonds with her mother until she is old enough to be viewed by zoo guests.

Southern three-banded armadillos are native to the southern interior of South America and are listed as “Near Threatened” due to threats of habitat destruction as their native grasslands are converted to farms, hunting and capture for the pet trade.

Fun facts about the three-banded armadillos:

1. They have poor eyesight but a great sense of smell.

2. They eat and collect ants and termites on their long, sticky tongues.

3. Their shells are made of keratin, the same material as human fingernails.

4. The three-banded armadillos are one of only two types of armadillos that can roll into a ball for protection.