WATCH: Meet Colchester Zoo’s new armadillo named Gomez

Gomez the Hairy Armadillo Picture: COLCHESTER ZOO

Gomez the Hairy Armadillo Picture: COLCHESTER ZOO - Credit: COLCHESTER ZOO

For the first time in many years Colchester Zoo has welcomed the arrival of a large and hairy armadillo, who goes by the name of Gomez.

Five-month-old Gomez has settled in well over the last few days and especially enjoys a tummy tickle from the Animal Care Team.

Unfortunately, the confident armadillo - who is native to Argentina and Paraguay - will not be visible to the public at all times.

However, once Gomez has settled in he will be available to meet and learn more about as part of the zoo's 'Sensation Station' encounters.

Large hair armadillos live across a variety of habitats including grasslands, forest and the savanna.

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The species is listed as 'Least Concern' on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, but do still face threats from hunting and roads.

Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning "little armoured one" and refers to the thick bony plates, which cover their head and body.

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They also have hair that projects from the scales of their armour as well as a hairy underside.

Their well-known features include strong forelegs and large, sharp front claws which are perfect for digging.

Gomez is nocturnal - and therefore very active at night - so during the day he shelters in the burrows which he digs when the sky turns dark.

Large hairy armadillos like to eat insects, invertebrates, small vertebrates, and plants.

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