Keepers at Newquay Zoo are delighted with the birth of an unusual pair – twin six banded armadillos. The Cornish wildlife attraction is one of only 11 zoos in the UK to keep armadillos.

The conservation charity last bred armadillos back in 2018, where keepers hand-reared the pup to give him the best possible chance in life. This time round parents Wallace (dad) and Gromit (mum) are doing the hard work.

Head Keeper Dave Rich commented: “We’re delighted to breed armadillos again. Mum has been very attentive to her pups - they are both healthy and strong and have started to venture out from their nest box.“

We don’t know their gender yet as they’ve been keeping close to mum, however we should find out in the coming weeks, when they have their first health check.”

Found in South America, armadillos can be active by day or by night. They have extremely poor eyesight but make up for it with an excellent sense of smell. Their strong legs and sharp claws mean they come equipped with their own digging equipment as they search for insects and bugs to eat.

The pups will feed from mum during the first few weeks, before moving onto solid foods when they reach 4 weeks old.

The word armadillo means ‘little armoured one’ in Spanish, and refers to their tough plated outer shell made of bone that gives protection from predators. However, this is also one of the main reasons the species is threatened, as they are hunted for their meat and the keratin in their shell.

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