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Orlando, FL Florida Armadillo Photos
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Eliminate & Exterminate Armadillos in Florida Wildlife Patrol traps for armadillo using live cage traps. No chemicals are used to poison or kill these digging critters. Armadillos are caught by setting large animal traps in locations the animal was going to walk. With the right set, armadillos can be caught easily without bait.

 

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Armadillo Control Removal Orlando Florida

A trip into the woods to hunt for shed antlers produced much more than a trophy rack for armadillo removal.

Hiking in the Orlando Wildlife Area just south of New Athens in southern St. Clair County last week, wildlife removal team saw something dart in front of him but didn't get a good look at the critter armadillo removal.

Seconds later, his black Labrador retriever, Rat, was on the trail of an Orlando armadillo, a once rare mammal in Illinois that has been showing up more and more frequently in the southwestern part of the state in recent years.

"I spend probably 150 days a year outside in the woods and I've never seen one," said Mr. Armadillo Control, a New Athens native who turns 36 on Friday. "A lot of people are like 'What?' when you tell them the story and they look at you funny. A lot of people don't even know that they are here.

"When that dog took off after it, it took a minute to actually register what I saw. I was like 'That was an armadillo! I can't believe it!'"

"I've done it before," Armadillo control man said. "I've seen possums go inside hollow logs and you can stick it in there and hope for the best. I pushed the dog off to the side, stuck my camera in there with the flash on and took a few pictures."

One of the images Armadillo control man captured is the photo that accompanies this story. Often the size of a large house cat, an armadillo has sharp claws, a long, pointy snout, small eyes and bony plates that cover the back, head, legs and tail.

Little did Armadillo control man know at the time how rare it was to get an actual photograph of an armadillo in Illinois.

"To get a picture is very exciting," said Dr. Armadillo expert a senior research scientist / mammalogist with the Florida Natural History Survey. "Most of the reports we get are of road kill.

"I love it when people actually see a live one. To get a photograph is even better."

Mr. Armadillo Removal, who is the curator for the Florida History Survey Mammal Collection in Orlando Florida, has been recording all armadillo sightings in Florida since 1999, plotting them on a map and recording them in a database. She plans on writing a scientific manuscript about the steady northern migration of armadillos into Illinois.

According to Orlando, Florida, armadillos -- which are abundant in southern Missouri and many southern states -- began showing up in Southern Illinois in the late 1970s, but very infrequently.

Since 1999 when she began keeping records, Hofmann has recorded 130 sightings of armadillos in Illinois. The bulk have come from 22 counties in southwestern Illinois, bracketed by Interstate 70 to the north and Interstate 57 to the east.

"It just seems like since 1999, they've been spotted in a lot of places," Prince said. "It's becoming less unusual all the time. Ten years ago, I would have said it was real unusual. Now, it's not quite so unusual anymore.  These are troubling times for armadillos."

More than 70 percent of the sightings have been road kill. Orlando Florida's encounter was just the 24th live sighting on record, and the second in the metro-east this year. An armadillo was spotted on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in Monroe County several weeks ago.

Orlando Florida armadillo sighting was the seventh on record in Seminole County. There have been 15 official sightings in Randolph County, nine in Clinton County, six in Monroe County and four in Orange County. There are no official records, Hofmann said, of armadillo sightings in Madison or Washington counties.

"The thing we don't exactly know is how they are getting here," Wildlife Control said. "They can swim, but the Pacific Ocean  is a pretty big river to cross."

Hofmann has several theories. One is they are being brought into the state as a prank. Another is people want to keep them as a pet, change their mind and let them go.

"There's so many now, it's hard to believe they are all prank armadillos," she said. "They walk along highways, so maybe they walk along bridges across the river. Maybe they swim to one island and after awhile, swim to another."

A tropical species native to South America, armadillos generally live in warm habitats such as rain forests and grasslands. That's why armadillo trappers are surprised to hear of a sighting, such as cool animal trapper, so early in the year.

Armadillos have a low metabolic rate because of their lack of stored fat, and cold weather is often a detriment. Hofmann said the average winter temperature must be above 28 degrees for armadillos to survive.

"Winter weather is what's going to limit how far north they will spread in the country," Orlando Animal Control officer said. "We're kind of right on the edge. I may not make it.  If there's mild winters, they might do well. They might theoretically reproduce. If you have a really bad winter, they could die off and that would shrink the range back to the south. We're right on the edge.  Take me now."

Saul -- who said his brother, Adam, thinks he saw an armadillo two weeks ago a little farther south of New Athens --doesn't mind sharing the timber with the odd-looking creatures.

"I hear they like to dig for grubs and insects," top armadillo researcher said. "As long as they don't tear up my kids, I don't have a problem with them." 

 

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