Tiny armour plated arrival at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo
Keepers at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo are delighted to announce the birth of a Southern three-banded armadillo. The tiny female armour-plated arrival was born in the middle of April and has been named Inti by her keepers.
Pronounced In-tee, the name comes from the ancient Inca sun god, of the same name. Inti is only the second birth of any armadillo species at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. In 2014 another female called Rica was also born to parents Rio and Rodar.
At two days old Inti was about the size of a golf ball and weighed only 100g, but by two weeks old she was just a little smaller than a tennis ball. She is currently three weeks old and is reaching the size of a baseball!
Once Inti gets a little older she will take part in the Zoo’s daily educational show, called Animal Antics, where she will help raise awareness of vital work taking place by conservation charity the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, who own and manage Edinburgh Zoo, to help the giant armadillo in the Brazilian Pantanal.
Sarah Wright, Animal Presentations Team Leader at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Our new arrival is doing well and we are all celebrating her birth, as she is only the second armadillo to be born at the Zoo. Inti was about the size of a golf ball when she was born, but is growing quickly and is a little bundle of energy. She will grow up to play a very important role in raising awareness about the plight of armadillos in the wild and the threats they face.”
Southern three-banded armadillos are listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List and are increasingly threatened as a result of being hunted for food, the pet trade and loss of habitat. Three-banded armadillos are the only type of armadillo which can roll into a ball when threatened and gets its name from the three characteristic bands on their back, which allows them the flexibility to roll into a ball. The three-banded armadillo is native to parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Photographs: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo
Image from www.flickr.com/photos/stuutje