Following a popular vote among Brazilian fans, the three-banded armadillo, chosen as the mascot of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
, has been given a name: Fuleco
. In the popular vote held in Brazil
during the past weeks, 48 percent chose “Fuleco
”, while 31 percent preferred “Zuzeco
” and 21 per percent opted for "Amijubi
The interesting animal is endemic to eastern Brazil and is commonly known as Tatu-bola
because it has the ability of rolling into a ball when threatened. The three-banded armadillo, known to science as Tolypeutes tricinctus
, is considered a vulnerable species mostly because of the destruction of their habitats to raise livestock.
Fuleco is a fusion of the words "futebol
" (soccer) and ecology. According to FIFA
, the chosen name reflects the passion of Brazilians for football (soccer) and their commitment to the environment.
Fuleco has his own website
and his Twitter account (@ FulecoArmadillo), from which he celebrated the official name: "Thank you Brazil! There were more than 1,700,000 votes. Now I have a name and it is Fuleco".