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Otis on a Mission

The Six-banded Armadillo is part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP for short). The purpose of this SSP is to ensure a genetically diverse captive population to help conservationists learn about the species, breed the species, and be prepared to take what they learn to assist the wild population.

“Otis” the Six-banded Armadillo was born at the Museum & Aquarium in 2014. Being an Armadillo in Iowa, “Otis” has been a unique and popular ambassador for his species; however, you can imagine he's had a hard time finding a date. And so, per SSP breeding recommendations, he will be heading to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Garden where we will meet his new mate.

"Otis is part of something bigger than himself. He's helping his species survive, and that's really powerful," said Wendy Scardino, director of marketing and communications. 

Prior to his departure, Otis will be the featured creature throughout Memorial Day Weekend. Depending on weather and temperatures, Otis will be located either outside in the Boatyard or inside the Mississippi River Center each day from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, he will fly to Florida and his new home. We wish him the best.