CARING staff at a popular Honeybourne nature centre are celebrating after saving the life of a rare baby armadillo.
The surprise birth of the creature at All Things Wild Nature Centre has provoked a round the clock vigil for zoo curators who have hand reared the infant three banded armadillo, an endangered species from South America.
The dramatic discovery of the tiny male was made after a couple of new resident armadillos, whose owner was no longer able to look after them, settled into their purpose built enclosure.
After a volunteer helper reported one of the armadillos showed signs of carrying milk, an urgent search uncovered the newly born baby armadillo, cold and in danger of rejection by his mother.
The zoo team decided on life saving intervention when hours of encouragement to get the mother to care for her baby ended in failure.
Veterinary advice resulted in a planned programme of hand rearing the baby armadillo with bottle feeds of milk at two hourly intervals throughout day and night.
Zoo curator, Samantha Pardoe was one of the team who fought to save the baby armadillo.
The mum of two young children once again endured sleepless nights to help feed the tiny animal who at one point in his young life fitted into the palm of her hand.
Dave Crumpton, the centre’s Head Curator of Life Sciences said: “When we first discovered our newly born baby armadillo it was touch and go as to whether he would survive.
“Since he was born on April 26, we have given him twenty four hour care and now he is doing well. “The turning point was when he first urinated – a great cheer went up from all the keepers because we knew then that he had a good chance of survival.
“Now he’s past so many milestones and we are starting to introduce him to our visitors.
“As one of our star attractions he will play an important part in helping to educate and raise awareness of this threatened species,” he added.
The new zoo baby is a member of one of the many of the world’s wild animals who face an uncertain future and the risk of extinction.
Belonging to one of the smaller species he is amongst the only two armadillo species capable of rolling into a complete ball to defend themselves.
All Things Wild Nature Centre is proud to have saved the tiny creature who is now thriving and staff are delighted to welcome visitors to meet the new addition to their collection of more than 60 species of wild animals
All Things Wild Nature Centre is located in Honeybourne near Evesham and is open daily from 11am to 5pm, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Call 01386 833083 or visit www.allthingswild.co.uk for more information.