Cracking news! Wallace and Gromit have arrived at Newquay Zoo
Published: Mar 31, 2017Newquay Zoo is now home to two friends called Wallace and Gromit, their Keeper Dave Rich tells us all about the new arrivals...
Newquay Zoo is now home to two friends called Wallace and Gromit - but these guys aren’t lovers of cheese…
These two are six-banded armadillos and they prefer to snack on veg and grubs. Wallace, just one year old, was born on 21st February and arrived here at Newquay Zoo on his birthday. Born at Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Wallace was hand raised by a keeper, so is very inquisitive and loves to come over and say hello. The six banded or yellow armadillo is a member of the Dasypodidae family – these little creatures can be identified by their bony armour plating across their bodies, head and sometimes legs and tail.
As you might have guessed by their name, these little chaps have around 6 to 8 armoured bands around their middle. These bands are extremely tough; they are made from the same material as hair and nails, but form a pretty strong defence. If they are ever under threat by any predators they will sit tight, tuck their limbs in and let their armour protect them.
Although the species is classed as Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, these little creatures are still at some threat in the wild and are often subject of poaching and used as a source of protein. The species is omnivorous, consuming plant material, including fruit, tubers and palm nuts - which make up 90% of their diet - insects such as ants and termites, carrion, and small vertebrates.
You might not think it to look at them, but these guys are actually quite good swimmers. Although only short they have powerful legs which they use for digging and piling dirt underneath and behind themselves. However, their eyesight isn’t so good, instead they use smell and hearing to find their food and keep away from any predators.
Our second armadillo, Gromit is only 8 months old – she is a female and was born at Bristol Zoo on 26th July 2016. She is a little more timid that Wallace but still loves to explore and play with enrichment. Both Wallace and Gromit have settled in to their new home really well and have become best of friends! They have also settled in well with their housemates the white-throated capuchins, who don’t seem to mind sharing their home.