Armadillo (Education Animal)
Large hairy armadillos have thick bony plates over their head and back that protect their body. They also have a soft pinkish belly, strong legs and claws, a long nose and long sensitive hairs on their body. Armadillos eat a variety of plants, insects and other small animals. The word ‘armadillo’ means ‘little armoured one’ in Spanish. Of the 21 species of armadillo, only three-banded armadillos can curl into a ball. The others (such as large hairy armadillos) run into burrows or squat into the ground for protection. Gretel is not usually on show at the zoo as she is primarily an educational animal. When she is not assisting the Education Team with school visits, she lives happily behind the scenes.
Large hairy armadillos are found in forests and grasslands in central and southern South America.
Armadillos usually live on their own in the wild. Large hairy armadillos usually have two babies at a time.
Conservation Status: Common
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