Armadillos on the Move

IN TENNESSEE ARMADILLOS HAVE BEEN SEEN MOVING INTO TOWN, BUT THEY CAN CARRY A RARE DISEASE.

ROBERT GRANT REPORTS.

NATS: "COME HERE PEACHES, COME SAY HI."

ROBERT: YOU ONCE COULD ONLY SEE ARMADILLOS IN EAST TENNESSEE BY VISITING THE ZOO.

BUT NOW THE ANIMALS ARE MOVING INTO THE WILD HERE.

SARAH GLASS/ZOO KNOXVILLE: "I WAS DRIVING DOWN TO FLORIDA THIS PAST SUMMER AND RIGHT AT THE SPLIT OF 75 AND 40, I SAW AN ARMADILLO ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD."

SARAH GLASS -- AN EXPERT AT ZOO KNOXVILLE -- SAYS THEY'RE FOLLOWING FIRE ANTS -- A PART OF THEIR DIET -- WHICH ARE ALSO CREEPING INTO THE REGION.

ALONG WITH ARMADILLOS -- A RARE DISEASE -- ABOUT A FIFTH OF THE ANIMALS CARRY LEPROSY.

NATS: "WHERE'D YOU GO PEACHES."

BUT EXPERTS SAY DON'T WORRY.

SARAH GLASS/ZOO KNOXVILLE: "THERE'S A VERY SMALL CHANCE OF ACTUALLY CONTRACTING IT FROM THEM."

MOST HUMANS ARE IMMUNE TO THE DISEASE WHICH CAN CRIPPLE YOUR HANDS AND FEET.

NATS: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING JOHN ELLIOT."

ARMADILLOS ARE USUALLY SEEN AROUND THE HIGHWAY -- BECAUSE THEY EAT ROAD KILL.

BUT EXPERTS DON'T EXPECT TO SEE MANY HERE, BECAUSE THEY CAN'T SURVIVE EXTREME COLD.

SARAH GLASS/ZOO KNOXVILLE: "DESPITE LOOKING SO SOLID AND ARMORED, THEY REALLY DON'T STORE A LOT OF INSULATING FAT, SO THEY DON'T DO WELL IN SUPER COLD CLIMATES."

AS YOU CAN SEE --THEY'RE EASY GOING AND NOT AGGRESSIVE.

SARAH GLASS/ZOO KNOXVILLE: "THEY'RE PRETTY SIMPLE -- THEY'VE GOT A COUPLE THINGS THEY WANT TO DO IN LIFE AND THAT IS SLEEP AND EAT. IT MAKES WORKING WITH THEM FUN, BECAUSE THEY'RE FOOD MOTIVATED, SO TRAINING IS PRETTY SIMPLE."


Find Out More


Website Article: Texas Parks and Wildlife, Species, Nine-banded Armadillo | Get the basics on this crazy-looking animal.

Website Article: Armadillo Online, Frequently Asked Questions | Everything you want to know about armadillos.

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