Brazil Uses Mascot to Save Armadillo

Fuleco is the 2014 World Cup mascot; he is an armadillo. (Getty Images)

The Brazilian ministry of environment launched a program aimed at saving the three-banded species of armadillo.

Fuleco, the 2014 World Cup’s mascot, is an armadillo, and conservationists claimed that the Brazilian government was not doing enough to bring awareness to the species after it was named mascot for the World Cup.

“More Brazilians are aware of the animal than before, but it hasn’t resulted in more funds to help save it,” Rodrigo Castro, director of the Caatinga Association environmental group, told the Post.

Conservationists also feel that FIFA has not been investing enough into environmental programs in the country, while the environmental ministry said it was taking “concrete” steps to protect the armadillos habitat, according to the Washington Post.

“All the stuffed armadillos being sold, the T-shirts with its image, little of that profit is being used to save the animal.”

Athletes Enjoyed Brazil’s Setup

The United States Men’s National Team trained for two weeks in Sao Paolo. (Getty Images)

Two members of the United States national team members praised Brazil’s hospitality and setup ahead of the World Cup.

The United States trained for two weeks at the headquarters of Sao Paolo FC in one of the Brazil 2014 host cities.

“It was very nice where we were,” Goodson told reporters.

“I know there’s been a lot publicized about them not being ready, but everything that we did with the U.S., all the facilities we were at and the hotels, they were all top notch and ready to go. I didn’t experience the other part.”

Wondolowski, who plays for the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS, called the training trip a “great experience,” and praised the United States’ preparations.

“There’s always speculation [about the conditions], but I think when it comes down to it, it will be great.”

Honduran defender Victor Bernardez, also of the San Jose Earthquakes, doesn’t think Brazil will have trouble meeting its deadlines.

“It’s not a problem with that,” Bernardez told reporters in Spanish.

“I think everything will be fine. We’ll be there in June to compete and I think they’ll be ready. We’re confident it will be a beautiful World Cup.”

Homepage photo from Getty Images

By INSIDER’s Aaron Bauer 

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