Darren Doyle, story:
Yes, you read correctly. The Edmonson Voice has received multiple reports of armadillos being spotted in various areas of the county, most recently in the Pine Grove area.
One of these little mammals looks like a cross between an anteater, turtle, and a pig and is from the same family as anteaters and sloths.
Brady Meeks of Pine Grove sent us the top photo of this one, which was located on HWY 743 near Alexander Creek Road. Mr. Meeks said he spotted it on the side of the road on his way to work Thursday morning.
Just a few months ago we received a similar photo from Michelle Decker, who spotted a larger one on Veterans Memorial HWY just inside the city limits of Brownsville near Park Place.
According to nature, armadillos normally aren't aggressive towards humans and roll up in a ball when threatened; however, one should use caution when approaching as they are said to be a carrier of leprosy.
A genetic study published in 2011 in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that U.S. armadillos and human patients share what seems to be a unique strain of the bacterium that causes leprosy.
While they thrive in southern, warmer climates, the lack of predators over time has allowed them to migrate north, which is likely why they've made it to Kentucky. Perhaps would-be predators were also informed that the little guys carry leprosy.
With two sightings in Edmonson County near the Green River region, who knows? Maybe they were headed there to dip seven times.