The World Cup Mascot is a Three-Banded Armadillo – Meet Ours Named Tuck

Written by Casey Norra 

This is Tuck
Tuck & Soccer Ball
He is our Three-banded armadillo living in the Drylands “Desert” exhibit over at natural encounters. You might not always see him on exhibit, due to him being nocturnal, but every once in a while you can catch this guy running around causing trouble. Whether he is harassing the keepers in the morning while they are trying to clean, wanting to play with the Springhaas while he is trying to sleep, or simply trying to ram into the Ground squirrels for unknown reasons. With all that being said he is still a rather cool little guy. For instance he can roll up into a ball due to having the strongest abdominal muscles for any animal equal to size, trap air under his shell to make it across a river, or just walk hold his breath for five minutes and walk the river bottom. Also with being an armadillo means he totally digs bugs. Haha get it digs bugs…because armadillos dig and…moving on. Even though armadillos are known for digging holes for safety, the three-banded prefers hiding in bushes. This is because he always has his armor on his back.

With these few facts about Tuck and armadillos alike there is probably one thing you might have never guessed about him, and it’s that he loves soccer (Fútbol) and is rooting for the U.S. in this year’s World Cup. Even though his species comes from South America, he is rooting for our guys. Also the Caatinga Association, a Brazilian environmental NGO, launched in January 2012 a national campaign proposing the three-banded armadillo to become mascot of the 2014 World Cup. In March 2012, the Brazilian weekly, Veja, reported the three-banded armadillo would be the official mascot for the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil. Official announcement came in September 2012. So Tuck is really excited about this, you know with them vulnerable in the wild and stuff, It really lets people know these guys are out there.

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