The Potawatomi Zoo is excited to announce a southern three-banded armadillo was born at the Zoo on November 7, 2018. The armadillos are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Southern Three-Banded Armadillo Species Survival Plan (SSP) program.

The still-unnamed baby weighed 118 grams at its first weight check one week after its birth. “Although this is the female armadillo’s first baby, she has proven herself to be a very good mother, which is great news for the SSP,” says Josh Sisk, director of Animal Programs and Education. “The baby armadillo weighs 334 grams now, a healthy weight for its age, and is moving around with its mother, which shows us that it’s thriving.”

The baby was born to a pair of armadillos that have not yet been viewable by the public. However, Zoo visitors may be familiar with the Zoo’s third three-banded armadillo, Cachicamo, who is one of the Education department’s ambassador animals.

The southern three-banded armadillo is native to north central Argentina, east central Bolivia and sections of Brazil and Paraguay. They are considered near-threatened. Three-banded armadillos weigh 2.2-3.5 pounds (1000-1500 grams), much less than the more familiar nine-banded armadillo native to the United States. In the wild, they eat mostly ants and termites. Three-banded armadillos are unique for their ability to lock into a defensive ball that seals completely.