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Amardillos at Banham Zoo

It's not just a baby boom in lockdown zoo - it's also a chance to name an armadillo

Even with Banham Zoo being closed, this has not stopped nature taking its course with a fantastic number of new births and hatchings in recent weeks. New arrivals include a milky eagle owl chick, a pygmy marmoset, three pygmy goats, two African spoonbills, and four sun conures, which are listed as endangered in the wild.

One of the most significant births are that of twin brother large hairy armadillo’s. The cute twins are the second successful breeding from 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 babies.

Amardillos at Banham Zoo

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.

Mike Woolham, Animal Manager at Banham Zoo, said, “Our new arrivals are doing well and we are all celebrating their birth as it is only the second time an armadillo has been successfully born at the zoo. The yet to be named pups are growing quickly and are little bundles of energy, are very active within their nesting box and it will not be long before they are out exploring the rest of their habitat with their parents”.

In a bid to raise funds for the zoo during this critical time, the zoo are offering the opportunity to name each of the pups. All those wishing to enter need to do is pledge a minimum of £5.00. The winning pledgers will be able to name one of the pups. The chosen names will be registered in ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System), a record keeping database used by zoos all over the world, and will be a permanent record.

Those pledging a minimum of £5.00 will have the opportunity to win the chance to name one of the animals. The winner has no rights to the animal’s image or the animal itself. The Zoological Society of East Anglia reserve the right to approve the winning name which is chosen to name each armadillo and if an unsuitable name is the only one available they have the right to reselect the winner. Closing date for entries is 14th June 2020.

Funds raised go directly to the Zoological Society of East Anglia for the ongoing upkeep of the animals in the zoos.

Further details of how to pledge can be found here.

Banham Zoo

Amardillos at Banham Zoo