The Armadillo Conspiracy

(Hey, Ed! This one's for you. May you never meet an evilly determined armadillo in your outdoor adventures.)

Several armadillos have escaped from Texas. I'm certain of this because I've seen a few here recently in the midwest, where they obviously don't belong because we all know that they only live in Texas. And a few outcasts in New Mexico and Arizona.

The first time, I thought it was an aberration when I saw one along the side of the interstate. But last Friday night it was brought to my attention in a rather abrupt manner that there are HERDS OF ARMADILLOS running amok here in the midwest.

Last Friday night I was at Lowes, for hours and hours, in the cabinet department going over kitchen schematics. After awhile a young girl and her boyfriend struck up a conversation with the associate working with me. Turns out they're related. (NOT the teenagers, the girl and the associate!) Although, it might not have surprised me to find out the daters were related by the time their conversation was done.

It seems they were spending their "date" night at Lowes looking for ... an armadillo trap. So that they could train the armadillo. And race it next weekend in the armadillo races. After they found the trap, they brought it back by the cabinet-desk-area to show us. Then they wandered off, hand in hand, to purchase the armadillo trap.

I. Am. Not. Kidding. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

I came straight home to tell my husband the extreme weirdness I had encountered at Lowes. He thought nothing of it. "Honey, we live in the midwest. Of COURSE there are armadillos here." Frankly, armadillos creep me out. Horrid little hissing hostile creatures. Creatures that are supposed to only live in TEXAS! Because thats the way nature intended it.

My husband looks at me, as if I'm crazy (which I'm not), and suggests gently and sarcastically "Sure, there are herds of armadillos in Texas that are heading out onto the interstates just to get to you."

(Cue the music to Rawhide...) Imagine ... fat little armadillos all over Texas ... stubby little legs carrying them onto the by-ways and highways ... all of them heading for the midwest with determination in their beady eyes!

I laughed myself sick! Maybe its just me, but I think the idea of a herd of evilly determined armadillos trying to break-out of Texas is a riot!

UPDATE: One reader, who shall remain nameless to protect his wasteful use of time, sent me a link with the following bizarre information about armadillos in Texas ...

"The leprosy bacillus was discovered in 1872, but scientists couldn't grow it in the laboratory. Research in treatment and prevention didn't take off until 100 years later, when scientists found an ideal host with a relatively cool body temperature - the nine-banded. Organisms grown in laboratory armadillos were distributed to research facilities, and the animal itself became a model in development of new drugs...

During this period of progress, two disconcerting mysteries arose in Texas and Louisiana. First, in the 1970s, leprosy was found in 15 to 20 percent of wild armadillos in those states, with the origin of their infection unknown.

Bob Howard, a spokesman for the National Center for Infectious Diseases, says the center has no information showing leprosy in armadillos in other states. "The armadillo is one of those animals that is studied pretty extensively," he explained, "so if there were indications it was occurring elsewhere, it would be picked up and studied." Florida Institute of Technology researchers found no leprosy among 3,000 armadillos, according to Dr. Arvind Dhople, research professor.

Then, in the mid-1980s, medical journals began to report diagnosis of leprosy in a few people in Texas and Louisiana who had no contact with leprosy patients but handled armadillos. Dhople estimates the number of diagnosed cases at five to ten per year. Contact included racing the armadillos, extracting meat and making souvenirs from the shells. The exact mode of transmission of leprosy, even from human to human, has not been clearly established, but Howard says, "We believe those particular behaviors would put one at risk."

As far as scientists know, both problems - leprosy in armadillos and in people who have handled them - are restricted to Texas and Louisiana. "


testing ... oh, please ... oh,please ...

Lucy | 06/29/2005 - 01:35 AM

I definitely did not understand that. Learnt one
thing new today! Thanks for the.

navy people search | 03/09/2013 - 03:51 PM
Make Waves

Remember personal info?

Please enter the security code you see here

Note in a Bottle
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):