The nine-banded armadillo sunk its claws into Texas during the 19th century via the Rio Grande and now apparently is sticking its nose into the Upstate.
The strange, armored creature with poor sight and a sense of smell that can detect its favorite foods — earthworms and grubs — six inches underground appeared in the Lowcountry 10 to 15 years ago, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The armadillo is the small state mammal of Texas. To put it delicately, it is to many parts of the Deep South what the opossum is to South Carolina — frequent road kill.
But apparently, the armadillo, which is projected to expand its range into New England in the future, has begun the journey. A deceased armadillo recently was seen on South Church Street outside the Spartanburg County Headquarters Library. There was no mistaking its large claws, armored back or long tail.