Floods in southeast Texas had local residents fleeing last week – but all that water doesn't just spell trouble for the Lone Star State's human inhabitants. Just ask this lucky armadillo, who was rescued by a pair of kayakers after floodwaters swept it away.

Armadillo In Flood 2016 04 25
Image © Megan Jurasek

Wharton resident Megan Jurasek initially spotted the animal on the flooded grasses near her home. With the armadillo struggling to make it to dry land, Jurasek and her boyfriend sprung into action, grabbing their kayaks and paddling out to save it. 

"It had about ran out of strength to swim and was starting to sink," she wrote on the KHOU 11 Facebook page. "We netted it, and he rode calmly on the front of the kayak as we took him to higher ground. We both like animals and just couldn’t sit idle and let the little guy drown."

You might be surprised to learn that these armoured animals can swim at all, but the little critters have a way of counteracting the weight of their plates: when they need to cross large bodies of water, armadillos gulp air into their intestines to make themselves more buoyant. They can hold their breath this way for four to six minutes at a time – typically just long enough to doggy-paddle to safety:

It seems the Wharton 'dillo simply found himself too far offshore.

Armadillo In Flood 2 2016 04 25
Image © Megan Jurasek

Although the waters seem to be receding in Wharton, parts of Texas remain underwater after several rounds of heavy rain. Here's hoping locals continue to keep an eye out for stranded wildlife! 


Header image: Cláudio Dias Timm

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