The Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed two screaming hairy armadillo pups Aug. 11. The pups are the first ever born at the Zoo. They are still spending all of their time in their nest, and their eyes have not opened yet, but the bony plates that cover their bodies like armor are already visible with very fine hairs. At their last weigh-in, the pups were 144 grams and 159 grams. It is still too early to determine if they are male or female.
The pups’ parents, Amber and Dylan Walter, were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Screaming Hairy Armadillo Species Survival Plan. These are the first pups for both parents. Visitors will be able to see the pups at the Zoo after they have grown larger and have acclimated to their enclosure.
Screaming hairy armadillos are native to South America and are listed as a species of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They get their name from the squealing noise they emit if they are threatened and the greater amount of hair they have compared to other armadillo species. At less than 2 pounds fully grown, the screaming hairy armadillo is the smallest of the three species of hairy armadillos.
The Zoo will provide updates on the pups through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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