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Meet Eduardo, the three-banded armadillo who loves sleeping, digging and 'making confetti'!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications

Eduardo the three-banded armadillo. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo
It’s time to meet our next featured Ambassador Animal. This handsome gent is Eduardo—a 16-year-old Southern three-banded armadillo. This species is native to South America, but Eduardo was born right here at Woodland Park Zoo, which makes him a bonafide Seattleite!

Three-banded armadillos are the only ones that can curl up completely into a ball. Photo: Smithsonian National Zoo
Armadillos are mammals and their name comes from the armour-like leathery exterior plates that protect them. Those bony plates are covered by a thick layer of tough skin and they grow as the animal grows, very similar to our finger nails! Three-banded armadillos are on the smaller side as armadillos go, being only about 9 or 10 inches long—and they are the only ones that can curl up completely into a ball to protect their belly, limbs, eyes, nose and ears from predators. While not endangered, this species is threatened, mostly due to loss of habitat, but also from being hunted both for food and for the pet trade.

Armadillos like Eduardo, seen here going for a stroll, can use their long claws to break apart logs in order to feed on ants, termites and other bugs. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo
Eduardo weighs in at an impressive 2 pounds and his favorite hobbies include sleeping, digging, making “confetti” (shredding paper), and sniffing the shoes and socks of his dedicated animal keepers. In nature, this subspecies eats mostly ants and termites which it finds by using those long claws to dig and break apart logs where the bugs live. Eduardo especially enjoys worms, some greens and other veggies like carrots and yams. He occasionally will munch on bananas, grapes, or papaya—but only when it suits him.

Eduardo loves a walk through the grass! Photo: Erin Martin, Woodland Park Zoo
Eduardo is part of our Ambassador Animal program. He lives in a cozy behind-the-scenes den—and we do mean cozy! His keepers tell us he LOVES heat (makes sense considering his South American roots) and likes his bed to be a toasty 100 degrees! You can see him in some of our public Ambassador training demonstrations and—like many of our other Ambassador Animals—he is available to be a guest at your next zoo birthday party or private event.* Just ask!

*extra fee applies