On October 24, the Pueblo Zoo welcomed a baby Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth.
For the first few weeks of life, the baby, whose gender is not yet known, will remain off-exhibit with its mother, Chewie. Pueblo Zoo officials are seeking help to name the baby via the zoo’s Facebook page. The staff’s favorite name? They’d like to continue the “Star Wars” theme started with the mother’s name and call the baby Han.
Because they subsist on leaves, which provide little energy, Sloths conserve their resources by moving slowly. Their shaggy, algae-covered fur blends expertly with the treetops, making them nearly impossible to see unless they move – which is not often, although sloths will descend to the ground to relocate to a new tree or to defecate, which occurs about once a week. Sloths digest their food very slowly, so slow that up to two-thirds of their body weight may come from leaves in their digestive tract.
Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloths are found in two separate areas of South America: southern Central America, extending into Colombia and Ecuador, and a separate population in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. In both areas, they live an arboreal life in the rain forest canopy. Although forest destruction is likely affecting Sloth populations, not enough is known about this species in the wild to evaluate its status.
Photo Credit: Pueblo Zoo