PUPDATE Jan. 11: At 1.5 pounds, Segway has more than quadrupled her weight in two months. The growing pup is doing well and continues to be with Vespa behind the scenes.
The one-month-old Southern three-banded armadillo pup at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium now has a name – Segway!
“Born to parents Vespa and Scooter, the name Segway seemed to fit right in with the family,” said assistant curator Maureen O’Keefe.
The female pup has quadrupled in size since she was born in late October and is now about the size of a softball, weighing 14 ounces (she was just 3 ounces at birth). She has also opened her eyes and is moving around her den more every day.
“She’ll continue to nurse from Vespa for about another month” said O’Keefe.
Segway is the first healthy armadillo pup ever born at Point Defiance Zoo. She will remain behind-the-scenes in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater while she continues to bond with her mother.
The pup’s birth was the result of a breeding recommendation for Scooter and Vespa by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for Southern three-banded armadillos. The SSP looks at the genetic makeup of each prospective parent before recommending a pairing; this helps ensure diversity of armadillos in North American zoos.
Southern three-banded armadillos are native to the southern interior of South America. They are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Primary threats include habitat destruction as native grasslands are converted to farms and hunting and capture for the pet trade.