Armadillo Escape

While Stevie was one of the loudest creatures in the habitat area, people would often double back and investigate the out-of-place scratching noise coming from one of the habitats.

At first glance the habitat seemed to be occupied by a single prehensile-tail porcupine perched up on a tree. Once a camper enters the enclosure Ned might pop out of the wood shavings and trot happily around your feet, the little tree, his den, before pausing to scratch at the wall.

Ned was a six-banded armadillo and almost reminded me of a little old man due to his small tufts of hair and wrinkled skin. His back plates were hard like nails, though kinda weirdly fuzzy…

When I first entered his enclosure he was already running around, zooming along the walls and pausing to scratch at a worringly large hole on the rightmost corner of the wall.

I personally think that Ned is planning an escape. He charms newcomers by running circles around them.  Then while they’re distracted, he makes a dash at the door. Which is what he did when I didn’t close it quick enough.

I quickly used my foot to block his escape but wasn’t sure how to handle him. Should I pick him up? Scoot him away with my foot? With the help of a counselor I managed to keep him inside before snapping the door shut. “You know you can just pick him up, right?” he says.

Often times when things are slow in the habitats, counselors like to let Ned out and he’ll skitter along the small hallway the same way he does in his enclosure. Each time I visit his habitat the hole seems to be a few chips larger and maybe a little deeper.

I wonder if Ned’ll still be there when I go back next summer.

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