An armadillo in Holland, Michigan? Not so fast

An armadillo was reportedly found dead in the Holland area. (April 12, 2015/Jonathan DeKock via ReportIt)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — They are southern creatures, but armadillos are in the midst of a Northern invasion.

They’ve been spotted in Kansas and Missouri and even Illinois, but Michigan? Well, pictures certainly don’t lie.

When a viewer posted a picture of an armadillo reportedly in Holland to the WOOD TV8 Facebook page, it certainly caught our attention. Did this nine-banded bandit make it all the way to Holland, only to find its fate on a West Michigan road? The armadillo was reportedly found dead near Restlawn Memorial Gardens in the 900 block of Paw Paw Drive.

24 Hour News 8 sent the picture to the DNR who said the creature is no doubt an armadillo, but it unlikely made it here on its own four feet. Instead, the DNR provided three more reasonable explanations:

  1. It was pet that got loose (Apparently some people do keep them as pets)
  2. It was brought here by someone (With all the Spring Breakers returning from down South it is not beyond reason that they found the creature’s carcass and brought it back to Michigan)
  3. The picture was taken elsewhere since there are no distinctive landmarks visible

The reasoning behind those explanations is the climate in West Michigan.

According to the DNR Southwest Regional Supervisor Steve Chadwick, armadillos can’t survive our cold winters. Although their armor may provide protection against predators, it doesn’t help too much against lake effect snow.

Armadillos have very little body fat and can’t survive where the average temperature in January is below 28 degrees, according to a website dedicated to armadillos. The average temperature in West Michigan is 25.

So it appears that biology and geography will likely keep the Wolverine State armadillo free.

*Since posting this story several more viewers wrote in and posted more pictures of the armadillo saying they also saw it at the same location helping to confirm that it was in fact found in Holland.


If you have an interesting photo or a tip you’d like to share with 24 Hour News 8, email it to or post it to our Facebook page.

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