AnimealsSmash Cakes

April 26, 2019

Dora and Diego are two of the Zoo’s Screaming hairy armadillos. The siblings are celebrating their second birthdays on Saturday, April 27, so what better way to celebrate these adorable mammals than with some birthday cake! Chef Yohn discovered he isn’t the best pastry chef, so he enlisted the help of Chef Meredith to help decorate the cakes.

Armadillos eat insects, plants and some invertebrates, and at the Zoo they are fed an insectivore pellet diet as well as finely diced fruits and veggies. For the pair’s birthday cakes, the Zoo chefs used powdered insectivore diet and water to create a paste thick enough to make the “cake” portion and utilized baby food, honey and food coloring to make the sticky, sweet icing. Chef Meredith had a steady hand while spelling out Happy B-Day on each cake, which were also personalized with the armadillos’ names.

For this Animeals, Chef Yohn had to work with Keepers to create the perfect meal to suit both Dora and Diego’s needs. Each cake includes their daily recommended diet with all the nutrients they need, plus the food had to be easily digestible for Diego, as he has been diagnosed with Megaesophagus. After eating, he is kept in an upright position for at least 10 minutes to help digest his food properly.

The pair could barely wait to eat their cake and got messy in the process. With their tummies full, the pair gave each other some sibling love before heading off to nap and play in their paper enrichment. Ahh, the life of an armadillo.

See you next month for another Animeals blog! Who will it be and who do you want to see eat next? Email us your suggestions to info@virginiazoo.org.