When you think of endangered animals what comes to mind? Do you picture the regal Asian Elephant roaming open grasslands? How about the lazy Panda reclining in a bamboo forest? Maybe you even think of the fierce Siberian Tiger stalking its prey through icy hunting grounds? These animals are the beloved faces of many an endangered species conservation program but there are so many other creatures facing similar threats. I’d like to show you one of my personal favorites. One you may have never heard of. Meet the Pink Fairy Armadillo.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo is native to Argentina. This little guy is mostly nocturnal and tends to stick to desert regions where it can burrow into the earth to make comfortable little sandy dens to nest in.
The Pink Fairy Armadillo is the smallest and most elusive of armadillos in the world. In her 13 years of studying the creature Conservation biologist Mariella Superina of Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council has never spotted one in the wild. Not once.
So little is known about their lives in the wild that scientists aren’t even sure why they’re dying off. Many believe it’s likely due to human encroachment and pesticides though. Most studies of the armadillos are focused around those in captivity but they don’t tend to live very long outside of their natural habitat. Some researches believe the removal is just too stressful for them.
Unfortunately, despite their endangered and protected status, poachers have made an industry out of illegally capturing and selling them. Most of these poor creatures don’t survive the experience and those that do typically don’t last long as house pets. Surviving even a week in captivity is considered above average and no known specimen has lasted more than 4 years in captivity, even with the best treatment.
There is very little footage of this amazing creature in the wild but the video below shows one found digging around on the surface. According to the filmer, he only prodded it to try and get it to move off the road, where it could get hurt by passing traffic. However, I would highly recommend not poking any animal you find in the wild, endangered or not.