In October 2021, a pair of southern three-banded armadillos by the name of Vespa and Scooter gave birth to a female pup. These first-time parents are also the first southern three-banded armadillos to give birth to a healthy armadillo pup at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in its 116-year history.
The zoo’s head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said, “She is healthy and the perfect little replica of her parents.”
Prior to the pup’s birth, its mom Vespa had been properly taken care of and monitored to ensure a healthy birth. “Vespa was trained to allow us to give her voluntary ultrasounds throughout her pregnancy,” said assistant curator O’Keefe. “She’d even let us feel her belly without curling up in a ball, allowing us to give her the care she needed,” she added.
The young pup will remain behind-the-scenes in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater area of the zoo until the pup is old enough.
Aside from being the first healthy armadillo pup in the history of the zoo, its birth is also special because it is part of the successful breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The pup is an additional member of a near threatened species.