One morning in May, Wroclaw Zoo from Poland had great news! Their Southern Three-banded Armadillo female just gave birth to a baby. And with the species being near threatened, the staff at the zoo was delighted to see the species being carried on. But as they kept supervising Hermiona, the mother armadillo, they discovered a sad fact… she wasn’t interested in her pup and didn’t nurse him.
That’s when the staff realized they’re going to hand-rear little Spock.
20. May the 9th, 2017
It was a happy day for everyone at the Wroclaw Zoo when they saw that Hermiona just gave birth to a healthy baby. But while keeping a close eye on them, the staff saw that the mother wasn’t very interested in her baby…
19. The Small Mammals Division
But Spock, the newborn armadillo, as they all called him, was going to survive after all. That’s because Andrzej Miozga, who is the head of Small Mammals Division was going to take care of him.
18. A Critical Situation
If the mother doesn’t interact with her baby or doesn’t show interest in feeding her newborn, the baby can die. And with the Southern Three-banded Armadillo species being threatened, the zoo had to keep their baby alive!
17. He’s Going to Make It!
Fortunately, Andrzej Miozga became the main caretaker and the baby tripled in weight in a short time! Spock was going to ‘live long and prosper’, by the looks of it! But how did they feed him?
16. Feeding Was Tricky
The little armadillo pup was fed with a pipette, but he refused to eat the milk. Before that, they tried with a bottle, and finally, he learned that the best way to drink milk was to do this…
15. Tiny Plates for Tiny Creatures
When nothing else worked, the staff thought that Spock would like his milk on a tiny saucer. And then it was a success. Wait till you see how cute he is drinking his milk from that little plate!
14. Getting Better at It
After a few more tries, Spock has started eating his milk from this tiny bowl. And a few days later, he proved to be quite skilled in drinking his lunches! At six weeks old, Spock tripled his weight.
13. Baby Spock
Until Spock grows a little bigger, he will only be fed milk. He is also away from the public until he gets stronger and bigger. And if you’re looking for him at the Wroclaw Zoo, he might not be there anymore. This is why…
12. Finding His Other Half
As we’ve already mentioned, since the Southern Three-banded Armadillo is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a Near Threatened species, it is important that he finds a mate. He will do that at another zoo, once he’s an adult…
11. South America Native Animals
The Southern Three-banded Armadillos are native animals that can be found in the southern interior of South America. They feed on ants and termites, using their long, sticky tongues. They’re very interesting creatures and here’s why…
10. Two Types of ‘Ball’ Armadillos
On the whole planet, there are only two types of Armadillos that can completely roll into a ball to protect themselves from predators. They hide in their shell which is made of keratin. We, humans, also have keratin in our fingernails.
9. The Wroclaw Zoo
On the website of the Wroclaw Zoo, they talk about their Armadillo Hermiona, and her baby newborn. They also explain why their species is extinct. Believe it or not, Armadillos are popular in South America!
8. Threatened With Extinction
Yes, we said they are popular in South America, but they’re still on the brink of extinction. That’s because their habitat got smaller and it was fragmented, being converted to farmland.
7. A Curiosity Among Biologists
There are 19 species of armadillidae, and the southern three-banded armadillo, also known as the Tolypeutes matacus is a curiosity among biologists because they don’t know much about them.
6. There’s Also Poaching
You’d think that Armadillos are not very important when it comes to poaching, but people eat their meat and use the body parts in handicraft. There’s also the problem of climate change…
5. Statistics Are Grim
To give you an idea how threatened the southern three-banded armadillo is, imagine that their population decreases by 30% in ten years. In the past, the species used to live in more regions…
4. No More Armadillos in Buenos Aires
Once upon a time, we could see armadillos in Buenos Aires, but today it is extinct in the province. This species doesn’t grow as large as the giant one, which is a lot more famous.
3. Conservation of the Species
Starting with 2014, Zoo Wrocław began a program focused on conservation of the species. They raised funds and also created a documentary for children in Brazil and in other Spanish-speaking parts of South America.
2. A Great Step Towards Saving a Species
Looking at how great Spock looked after being hand-reared, we’d say that the staff at the zoo have done a great job in preserving the species. We hope that Spock gets to grow into those tiny shells and find his mate…
1. Making a Difference
We’re so happy that the staff helped the little baby armadillo. If all the people in South America were aware of these animals being on the brink of extinction, we’d be able to save them!