Virginia Zoo introduces baby armadillo

Living Local

Malassada, or Molly for short (Virginia Zoo photo)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There’s a new baby-sized ball of fun at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

Malassada, or “Molly” for short, was born on November 15 to parents Izel and Vigo, the zoo announced Monday.

The three-banded armadillo weighed just 3 ounces at her first exam, but has since grown to 1.5 pounds. Instead of Groundhog Day, the zoo celebrated Armadillo Day on Sunday to announce Molly’s birth.

The zoo says her parents were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Molly was the first child for 4-year-old mom Izel and 16-year-old dad Vigo.

About 20 different species of armadillo are found in the Americans, but the three-banded armadillos native to South America are the only ones that can completely roll into a ball.

The zoo says Molly is continuing to nurse with her mom, explore and play — and take naps!

The armadillos live behind the scenes in the zoo’s Program Animals Building, but they can be seen come spring time when ZooLive! Stage presentations resume at the zoo.

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