Zoo’s Armadillo Passes Away

We are heartbroken to announce the loss of beloved southern three-banded armadillo, Rollie. He had been under treatment for a gastrointestinal issue that progressed rapidly over the weekend. Although staff attended him closely during his illness and administered several medications and treatments, his overall health and welfare continued to decline. Zookeepers and veterinarian reached the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Rollie on Saturday, 6/18/22. Necropsy and lab results will be available in the next few weeks.

Rollie lived a healthy, happy life during the 17 years he resided at the NEW Zoo. He arrived here as a four-month-old pup in 2005 and quickly became a staff and guest favorite. He was a friendly, curious guy who was always happy to meet new people. Rollie loved head and back rubs and playing with his favorite toys, something he did with much enthusiasm. He was always fun to watch! His energy and adorableness helped him go “viral” online multiple times over the years, including on platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, and most recently, on TikTok. He even starred in a video appearance on the educational children’s website for Ranger Rick magazine.

In addition to educating visitors (and millions of video viewers!), Rollie helped many Zoo Interns learn the specialized skills needed to work with exotic animals. He was always eager to test out any new enrichment activities that they created. He was a regular participant in educational programs and enjoyed his travels to schools, libraries, and other interesting new places. He was a great ambassador for the Zoo and his outgoing personality helped advance our conservation message.

To know Rollie was to love him and he will be greatly missed.


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