We aren’t the only species who pay the price on the scales for a fun festive season – Drusillas Zoo Park are having to count calories for their two yellow armadillos, as they’ve piled on 2kg between them!

The plump pair, Patsy and Eddie, join many of us embarking on January fitness regimes, with keepers introducing more exercise, enrichment, and a few less treats for the greedy girls.

Zoo Section Leader, Helena Farley, spoke about the pair’s new diet: “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.”

Helena continued: “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.”

Since arriving in July last year, the pair have quickly become favourites among staff at the Sussex Zoo, with their curious, friendly, and interactive personalities – taking treats, snuffling shoes, and clambering on laps. They’ve shown such enthusiasm during keeper visits to their enclosure, the Zoo has announced it will soon be offering animal close encounter experiences with them.

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 of the Zoo, prepare armadillo snacks, and spend time inside their enclosure with one of our Keepers. With plenty of opportunity for some armadillo selfies!”

The unique encounter for one or two people will be on offer at Drusillas from 12th February, with bookings opening later this month. Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk