Franklin Park Zoo, in Boston, is pleased to announce the birth of a Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth!
The baby, born August 12, is the offspring of Nero, age 8, and Lunesta, age 10. The baby can be seen on exhibit with its mother, Lunesta, in the Little Critters building within the Children’s Zoo. The baby, whose sex is not yet known, underwent its first medical examination on August 14 and appears healthy, bright and alert.
Linne's Two-Toed Sloths are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but efforts to preserve that status are essential to future survival. Franklin Park Zoo, part of the Zoo New England Corp, participates in the Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.
Linne’s Two-Toed Sloths are large, furry mammals that live in trees and are found in the tropical forests of South America. They spend almost their whole lives dangling upside-down from branches that they hold on to with all four clawed feet. While these animals move really well through the branches, once they are on the ground they are very slow and vulnerable to predators as they are not built for walking.
Sloths eat mainly a vegetarian diet of leaves and shoots, and they spend roughly 15 hours a day sleeping. Although they live in trees, sloths are not related to monkeys; rather, their closest relatives are the anteater and the armadillo.
See more photos of the new baby, below the fold.