By Laura Dale
You don’t need a costume when you’re a real holiday armadillo!
This cute little creature is really getting into the Christmas spirit – and when you’re a real armadillo it’s a lot easier to look it.
Dashing round playing with presents and decorations, seven-month-old Archie definitely upstages Ross’ attempt to pass himself off as the ‘Holiday Armadillo’ in the hit TV-show Friends.
Failing to find a Santa outfit, Ross tried to pass himself off as the Christmas creature to his son Ben.
But Archie is the real deal, as the normally picky armadillo wasted no time in enjoying his gifts.
Brigette, the executive director of Second Chances Wildlife Center, who took Archie in, said: “Arnie is picky about the toys he plays with, but these Christmas ones seemed to peak his interest.
“Maybe armadillos like to get in the holiday spirit too! Who needs a costume when you already are the real Holiday Armadillo?”
Arnie was just a couple of months old when Second Chances Wildlife Center took him in, and staff soon realised he was extremely ill.
Tests revealed he had a blood count of nine, when the normal level for an armadillo is between 30 and 40.
Brigette said: “Arnie is an orphaned and rescued nine banded armadillo. He came to us via another rehabilitator.
“Arnie needed a blood transfusion, but we did not have another armadillo. We pulled him through that bought.
“A few weeks later, our centre director found Arnie in a coma one morning and it took her almost two hours to revive him. He even had CPR.
“Arnie’s blood was not clotting and he was spontaneously bruising. He developed two huge haematomas, one of which burst before it was healed. Layers of skin came off with the scab which left a very deep, open wound.
“For quicker healing, Arnie received three laser treatments and his wound is just now healing back to normal.
“He also broke his tail and had to get one-and-a-half inches amputated.
“This armadillo could not be more fragile and more loved.”
Now recovering, Arnie enjoys charging around the centre before falling asleep on members of staff.
But his picky nature extends from toys to sleeping places, including only getting some shut eye on Brigitte’s left side.
Brigitte said: “When he is sick he is calm and wants to nap on me all the time.
“When he feels good – which he has been lately – he is wound up. He runs and runs and runs, jumps in boxes, digs in pillows and hops into garbage cans.
“After running and moving about with hyper energy, he comes and finds me again as he always wants to be held while he naps.
“When I pick him up he is asleep in a matter of seconds. His favourite place to sleep is in my shirt, by the left side of my waist.
“He never goes on the right side – as I’ve said, he’s a picky guy.
“I hope he’ll stay with me forever, or at least a full 20 years.
“He will go to schools, libraries, and scout groups to educate students on climate change, the benefit of armadillos, and the importance of all wildlife.”