The surprise birth of a rare baby Armadillo at All Things Wild Nature Centre, Honeybourne is causing a round the clock vigil for Zoo curators who have succeeded in saving its life through hand rearing the infant three-banded armadillo, an endangered species from South America.

The dramatic discovery of the tiny male was made after a couple of new resident Armadillos, whose owner was no longer able to look after them, settled into their purpose built enclosure at the Centre. An urgent search through the deep straw bedding of their residence, after a volunteer helper reported that one of the armadillos showed signs of carrying milk, found the single newly born baby who was cold and in danger of rejection by his mother.

The zoo team decided on life-saving intervention when hours of encouragement to get the mother to care for her baby ended in failure. Veterinary advice resulted in a planned programme of hand rearing the baby armadillo with bottle feeds of milk at two hourly intervals throughout day and night. Zoo curator, Samantha Pardoe is one of the team who has fought to save the baby armadillo. The mother of two young children has, once again had to endure sleepless nights, this time to administer care and bottle feed the armadillo, who fitted into the palm of her hand. A journal of his first days of feeding and development shows that the routine suited the tiny animal well and includes the dates that he first sprouted hairs on his front legs and both his eyes opened.

Dave Crumpton, the Centre’s Head Curator of Life Sciences said:

“ When we first discovered our newly born baby armadillo it was touch and go as to whether he would survive. Since he was born on 26 April, we have given him twenty four hour care and now he is doing well. The turning point was when he first urinated – a great cheer went up from all the keepers because we knew then that he had a good chance of survival! Now he’s past so many milestones and we are starting to introduce him to our visitors. As one of our star attractions he will play an important part in helping to educate and raise awareness of this threatened species”.

All Things Wild Baby Armadillo

The new zoo baby is a member of one of the many of the world’s wild animals who face an uncertain future and the risk of extinction. Belonging to one of the smaller species he is amongst the only two armadillo species capable of rolling into a complete ball to defend themselves.

All Things Wild Nature Centre is proud to have saved the tiny creature who is now thriving and are delighted to welcome visitors to meet the new addition to their collection of over 60 species of wild animals who play a vital part in raising awareness of the serious threats faced by their counterparts in the wild. Providing the perfect family day out, the Centre is one of the many modern zoos helping to educate future generations about the importance of species conservation and plays a major role in terms of conservation, education, research and awareness in order to safeguard the future of many endangered species.

All Things Wild Nature Centre, Honeybourne near Evesham WR11 7AZ opens daily from 11am to 5pm (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

Tel 01386 833083 www.allthingswild.co.uk

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