On Sunday, April 27, Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed a southern three-banded armadillo baby to the Animal Ambassador Team. The team will celebrate the new arrival with a gender reveal party at the Animal Care Center this Friday, May 2 at 2:45 p.m.
This is the second baby born to mother “Zowie” and father “Ollie.” As Animal Ambassadors, both of the parent armadillos live in Jambo Junction, in the Nairobi area of the park. They are often part of educational talks and presentations to camps and school programs.
Since the baby armadillo will continue to nurse from its mother behind-the-scenes for a few weeks, the father armadillo will participate in the “grand reveal.” Ollie will forage through enrichment toys that the zoo education team will craft to look like truffles. The crafted truffles will be filled with two of Ollie’s favorite foods, his nutrient-packed insectivore diet pellets and bananas. During his exploration, he will uncover colored paper to reveal whether our newest addition is a male or female.
The baby was able to walk and roll into a ball within moments of its birth. Southern three-banded armadillos are the only species of armadillo that can fully roll up into a ball. The baby armadillo currently weighs 118 grams, which is about the weight equivalent to an average cell phone.