Baby Sloth Worth the Wait

Sloth Baby at Drusillas Park3
A baby Sloth born at Great Britain’s Drusillas Park is the first ever born in the zoo’s 91-year history.

The little Linne’s Two-toed Sloth was born to female Sidone and her mate Sophocles on March 26. Zoo keepers had been anxiously awaiting the birth, and were thrilled to find the baby on their early morning rounds.

Sloth Baby at Drusillas Park
Sloth Baby at Drusillas Park2Photo Credit:  Drusillas Park

Though this species of Sloth is not rare in the wild, births are not common in zoos.  In the past year, only four were born in the United Kingdom and just 27 were born worldwide.

Because Sidone was hand-reared as a youngster, keepers were concerned that she would lack mothering skills.  However, Sidone is proving to be an excellent mother to her new baby.

Sidone and Sophocles were introduced in January 2014, and like all Sloth activities, they took their time getting to know each other.  After a ten-month gestation period, their baby finally arrived.

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths are native to northern South America’s rain forests, where they spend nearly all their lives in the treetops.  Sloths are specially adapted to eat, sleep, and mate while hanging upside-down from a branch.  They descend to the ground only to defecate and move to a tree that cannot be reached from their home tree.


Slow Down for a Look at This New Baby


Amazon World Zoo Park excitedly announced the birth of their 14th baby Sloth! The listless little one was born December 27, 2015 to mum, Inti, and dad, Maya, and is the pair’s seventh offspring.

The new family can be seen in the Zoo’s ‘Twilight’ exhibit.



4_12744314_10153823240831113_1793888096338314384_nPhoto Credits: Amazon World Zoo Park

Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is also known as the Southern Two-toed Sloth, Unau, or Linne's Two-toed Sloth. It is a species from South America and is found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil--north of the Amazon River.

Sloths belong to the order Pilosa, which also includes Anteaters. They belong to they super order Xenarthra, which includes the Cingulata. Xenarthra are edentate (toothless). They lack incisors and have a large reduction in the number of teeth, with only four to five sets remaining, including canines.

Modern Sloths are divided into two families based on the number of toes on their front feet: Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae. Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth and Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) belong to the family Megalonychidae, which included extinct ground Sloths.

Linne's Two-toed Sloth has a ten-month gestation period, and their inter-birth rate extends past sixteen months (so there is not an overlap of young to care for). There is typically only one offspring per litter, and the young becomes independent at about a year old.

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Up Close and Fuzzy With a Baby Sloth

A baby Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth arrived at the National Aviary last week, and guests can get “up close and fuzzy” with the new arrival when he begins his role as an animal ambassador.

12715604_10154552237124278_154745630965409309_nPhoto Credit:  National Aviary


Born October 31, the baby Sloth is about 10 inches long and weighs about two pounds.  He’s already weaned from his mother, and the staff is feeding him every two hours.  He gets a daily check from the veterinary staff and daily weigh-ins to make sure he’s adjusting well to his new home. 

The little Sloth does not yet have a name, but aviary staff will give the public an opportunity to suggest names in a few weeks.

Dr. Fish, the aviary’s Director of Veterinary Medicine, says, “All baby Sloths stop nursing at around one month old. He is very strong, eating well, and meeting all his landmarks for a three-month-old Sloth. This age is the ideal time [to introduce him to our staff] because he is old enough and can start to bond with his caregivers. It is similar to puppies being adopted at 8 weeks old.” 

Keepers will begin teaching the Sloth to interact with people by using positive reinforcement and enrichment.  He will be able to choose his behaviors and be rewarded for positive actions.  In a few months, the baby Sloth will participate in daily encounters with aviary guests. 

Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloths are native to South America, where they spend most of their lives in the rain forest canopy.  They are well-known for being slow-moving, a trait which is linked to their diet.  The leaves and buds that Sloths consume provide very little energy or nutrients and can take a month or more to digest.  Huge hooked claws are just right for hanging from tree branches.  Sloths descend to the ground only about once a week for toileting.  Otherwise, they eat, sleep and even have their babies while hanging from tree branches.

See more photos of the baby Sloth below.

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‘The Force’ is with Zoo Heidelberg’s New Sloth

1_Heidelberg_baby Chewy and mom Wilma

Fred and Wilma are parents again! The pair of Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloths at Zoo Heidelberg, in Germany, welcomed a male offspring on July 31st.

The Zoo recently sought out a name for the hairy baby, and fans of the Zoo submitted their suggestions via Facebook. As a bit of an homage to the popular Wookie warrior of Star Wars, Chewbacca, the young sloth is now known as “Chewy”!

Chewy and him mom, Wilma, can be seen in the Zoo’s South America Aviary cruising much slower than 'lightspeed', upside down in the trees.

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3_Heidelberg_baby Chewy

4_Heidelberg_baby Chewy

Photo Credits: Heidrun Knigge (Image 1) ; Zoo Heidelberg (2-4)

The Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus), also known as the Southern Two-toed Sloth or Unau, is a species from South America. They are found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil (north of the Amazon).

They are solitary, nocturnal and arboreal—preferring to reside in rainforests. This species of sloth can swim, which enables them to cross rivers and creeks with some ease.

They cannot walk (they pull hand-over-hand to maneuver) and therefore spend most of their lives hanging upside down in trees. Their fur grows greenish algae to camouflage them in their surroundings. Their body temperature depends partially on ambient temperature; they cannot shiver to keep warm, due to their unusually low metabolic rate.

The Two-toed Sloth eats primarily leaves, but will also feed on shoots, fruits, nuts, berries, bark, flowers, and an occasional rodent.

They have a gestation period of about 10 months. They mother will give birth hanging upside down. The young are born with claws and are weaned after about a month. They remain with the mother for several more months, and do not reach sexual maturity until the age of three.

They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Their main enemies are large birds of prey (harpy, crested eagle) and wild cats (ocelot, jaguar).

Baby Sloth Cuddles With Furry Friend

Sloth baby bottle feed at ZSL London Zoo - July 2015 (c)ZSL
A baby Two-toed Sloth at the London Zoo has two special friends:  a zoo keeper and a stuffed toy Sloth to cuddle with.Yawning sloth baby at ZSL London Zoo - July 2015 (c)ZSL

Sloth baby on toy sloth at ZSL London Zoo - July 2015 (c)ZSLPhoto Credit:  ZSL London Zoo
The baby, born in June to second-time parents Marilyn and Leander, needed a helping hand when his mother stopped producing milk and was unable to care for her infant.

Keepers have named the young male Edward after the character Edward Scissorhands, due to his impressive claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and enable him to cling on and climb easily through the trees in his habitat.

To help strengthen Edward’s little limbs, keepers fitted his Sloth-teddy with carabiners so that it can be hung from a branch, enabling the youngster to cling the same way he would with mom.

Edward gets a bottle of goat’s milk every three hours, but, befitting the notoriously slow nature of Sloths, keepers sometimes have to wait for him to stir from a deep slumber before feeding can begin.  When Edward is hungry, he lets keepers know by emitting a loud, sneeze-like squeak.

Detailed records are maintained on everything the infant does, including eating , sleeping, and even Edward’s potty-habits. Sloths leave their high tree-top habitats only once a week to go to the toilet, so by keeping track of his poop, Edward’s keepers can account for any weight losses or gains.

Two-toed Sloths are slow-moving, tree-dwelling, nocturnal herbivores, found in tropical forests in Central and South America. Sloths are strong swimmers and can drop from a tree branch into a river to swim across it. When sleeping, Sloths often curl up in a ball in the fork of a tree.

Lincoln Park Zoo Says They Are ‘Hooked’ on New Sloth


Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, Illinois, has announced a new arrival. A Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth was born on July 25, at the zoo’s Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House!  

The sloth infant joins its 21-year-old mother, Hersey, and 32-year-old father, Carlos, on exhibit at the zoo. The sex and measurements of the newborn are yet to be determined, as the baby is clinging tight to Hersey. The sloth baby is a part of the Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan, which cooperatively manages the accredited zoo population. The baby sloth is the first offspring of this breeding pair.



5Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

“The sloth infant appears healthy and is passing critical milestones such as nursing regularly and clinging well to mother,” said Curator Diane Mulkerin. “Hersey is a first-time mother and is being very attentive to her new young.”

The sloth infant, Hersey, and Carlos can be seen on exhibit daily at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Regenstein Small Mammal Reptile House from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sloths are nocturnal so the infant and mother can be seen curled up in the canopy throughout the day and are more active towards the evening.

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a species of sloth from Central and South America. It is a solitary, largely nocturnal and arboreal animal, found in mature and secondary rainforests and deciduous forests. The common name commemorates the German naturalist, Karl Hoffmann.

The species is often confused with its relation, the Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth, which it closely resembles. The primary difference between the two species relate to subtle skeletal features; for example, Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth has three foramina in the upper forward part of the interpterygoid space, rather than just two, and often has fewer cervical vertebrae.

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloths have large hooked claws that help the species hang from treetops in the canopies of tropical rainforests. On average, these sloths weigh around 12 pounds and can reach 27 inches in length and spend nearly all of their time upside down in treetops.

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Honolulu Zoo Welcomes First Newborn Sloth


The Honolulu Zoo recently celebrated their first newborn Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth!

The new baby was born April 21st, to mom ‘Harriet’. Mother and baby are doing well, and they are both on exhibit. However, Harriet is quite protective of her new offspring, and visitors will need to have patience if they want to catch a glimpse of the new family.


11157554_10153707800881531_7978785755043660712_oPhoto Credits: "Keeper 2 Susan"/ Honolulu Zoo ; Video Credits: "Bird Lady"

Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth (also known as the Southern Two-Toed Sloth or Unau) is a species of sloth from South America. They are found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil north of the Amazon River.

It is a solitary, nocturnal and arboreal animal, found predominately in rainforests. Linnie’s Two-Toed Sloth is able to swim, which enables their travel across rivers and creeks, but they are seemingly built for life in treetops. They spend nearly all of their lifetime hanging from branches. Sloths will often sleep 15 to 20 hours, in trees. At night, they will search for food, generally leaves, shoots and fruits.

Two-Toed Sloth’s mate and give birth while hanging from branches. Gestation length is approximately 10 months. Newborns will cling, solely, to their mother for about five weeks after birth.

Modern Sloths are divided into two families, based on the number of toes on their front feet. Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth and Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth are larger than their three-toed counterparts. They also possess longer hair, bigger eyes and their back and front legs are more equal in length.

The Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Their main threat is loss of habitat due to deforestation of the South American rainforests for farming, residential areas and ranching. 

Sloth Orphans Receive Specialized Care


The Sloth Sanctuary, in Costa Rica, is currently home to 24 orphaned baby sloths. 


1502235_795834537153622_8126845118088905121_oPhoto Credits: Sloth Sanctuary

‘Issy’, an orphaned Choloepus Sloth, was recently photographed during her daily weigh-in. With those who are not gaining weight properly, daily monitoring is essential to the special care they receive. As they grow and prosper, the weight checks are scaled back.

Due to the increasing number of orphans arriving at the Sloth Sanctuary, there was a need to relocate and expand their juvenile nursery. Their improved, larger installation features a new exercise area and more dedicated space for daily weighing, cleaning and feeding routine. The babies are taken to the new area daily for climbing practice, which is an essential lesson that aids their motor skill development. Agility allows them to forage more effectively, and, if they are released, it helps provide the skills needed to avoid hazards, such as dogs and workers clearing the forest.

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Baby Sloth Takin’ It Easy at Topeka Zoo


A baby Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth made its public debut, recently, at the Topeka Zoo.



IMG_3335Photo Credits: Wrylie Guffey/Topeka Zoo

The sloth was born November 20th to mother, ‘Jackie’, and father, ‘Mocha’.  Zoo staff had been closely monitoring Jackie’s pregnancy and had been tracking the growth of the baby via ultrasound. Their excellent zoo and veterinarian staff worked hard to train Jackie to allow them to do an ultrasound on a weekly basis. Gestation for sloths is about 11 ½ months. This is the thirteenth time for Jackie to give birth at the Topeka Zoo, but it is the first offspring for father, Mocha.

It will be a little bit longer before staff can determine the sex, but the baby and mother are doing well. They now make their home in the Zoo’s Rainforest exhibit. For now, the baby is content to snuggle deeply into the fur on mom’s chest, as she makes her way, slowly through the trees of the exhibit.

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloths are native to Central and South America. They are largely nocturnal and arboreal animals, primarily found in rainforests and deciduous forests. They are classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. Their main threat in the wild is, believed to be, habitat destruction.

More great pics below the fold!

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Two-Toed Sloth Hangs Out with Mom at Franklin Park Zoo

Sloth Boston_1

Franklin Park Zoo, in Boston, is pleased to announce the birth of a Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth!

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Sloth Boston_2Photo Credits: Franklin Park Zoo/Zoo New England (1,3,7), Sarah Woodruff (2,4,5), Katelyn Deaton (6)


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.

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