Overindulgence in chocolates, cheese and other festive treats often see people cutting back in January – and the same is apparently true for a pair of armadillos.
Plump pair Patsy and Eddie have been put on an exercise regime by zoo trainers after piling on 2kg between them.
The two friendly yellow armadillos, who arrived at Drusillas Park in East Sussex last July, are known to enjoy treats, snuffling shoes and clambering on laps.
But it seems too many lie-ins and not enough moving around during the colder months have caused them to get a bit out of shape.
Zoo section leader Helena Farley said: “Patsy and Eddie arrived in summer last year, and of course being young we do expect them to put on a little bit of weight, but it seems our girls have over-indulged over the festive period, and they have put on around 1kg each.
“A lot of it will be due to them being very sleepy and not moving around much during colder months – being nocturnal animals, they tend to choose to stay in bed a bit longer most mornings, I suppose like many of us over the Christmas break!
“We are monitoring their weight closely, and we have introduced an exercise regime with added physical enrichment activities to get them moving, and a little diet reduction to help with their new year resolution of getting a bit trimmer.
“Once the warmer weather kicks in, they should start being a lot more active, and this will bring their weight down, too.”
Keepers looking after Patsy and Eddie are introducing more exercise, enrichment, and fewer treats for the pair.
The zoo’s managing director, Cassie Poland, said: “We are so excited to offer our visitors another unique close encounter at the zoo, and they don’t come more unusual than Patsy and Eddie.
“From February half-term, visitors can book to join us behind the scenes at the zoo, prepare armadillo snacks, and spend time inside their enclosure with one of our keepers. With plenty of opportunity for some armadillo selfies!”
For more information about the zoo and how to meet the armadillos, visit: www.drusillas.co.uk.