Sloth

Baby Sloth Slooowly Stealing Hearts at Memphis Zoo

Photo Apr 18  9 09 34 AM Courtesy of Adrienne Saunders
A baby Linné’s Two-toed Sloth at the Memphis Zoo is slooowly stealing the hearts of her keepers and fans, and she’s already made a special friend: a stuffed elephant that she clings to at naptime.

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Baby-Sloth-4Photo Credit:  Adrienne Saunders (1,6,7,8); Memphis Zoo (2,3,4,5)

Named Lua, which means “moon” in Portuguese, the female baby was born on March 17 to parents Marilyn and Sparky. Marilyn had delivered other infants in previous years, but her babies did not survive infancy, so the staff decided to hand-rear Lua to ensure her survival.

When the staff is not holding Lua, she clings to the stuffed elephant, which strengthens her limbs and mimics the way baby sloths hold on to their mothers. Sloths spend most of their time upside down, hanging from tree branches in South American rain forests north of the Amazon River. 

Baby Lua is bottle-fed every two hours, which will continue for at least a month. Sloths grow slowly and Lua will require help from zoo keepers for about a year. She is currently being cared for behind the scenes.

Both Marilyn and Sparky came into the zoo population from the wild, making Lua genetically valuable.

Linné’s Two-toed sloths, also known as Southern Two-toed Sloths, feed on leaves and other vegetation.  They rarely descend to the ground.

See more photos of Lua below.

Continue reading "Baby Sloth Slooowly Stealing Hearts at Memphis Zoo" »


San Diego Zoo’s Sloth Baby Has First Health Check

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A baby Linné’s Two-toed Sloth recently received its first health check at the San Diego Zoo!

The baby was born October 12 and now weighs 1.43 pounds (.65 kilograms). Staff also saw four teeth during the exam. According to the Zoo, it is difficult to determine the sex of a sloth at this age, so a hair sample was sent to a lab for analysis, to determine if the baby is male or female.

Zoo visitors may have trouble catching a glimpse of the baby, as it is typically found clinging to its mother, Consuelo, in their nesting box at the Zoo’s Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey Sloth habitat.

Sloths may begin eating solid foods as early as four days old, but they also continue to nurse until they around four months old (typical weaning age). San Diego Zoo keepers report that their new baby is eating solid foods and has a preference for apples.

To acclimate the baby to being handled for routine health checks and veterinary exams (as part of overall animal welfare), keepers have a plan to work with the baby and the mother on a regular basis. So far, Consuelo has been attentive, but calm, when the keepers hold and interact with her baby.

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3_31166822880_9bb0948e14_oPhoto Credits: San Diego Zoo

Because Sloths are nocturnal, Zoo guests might not be able to see the new family. However, animal care staff have observed that the baby is becoming more independent and is starting to venture away from Consuelo, so staff suggest that guests may have a better chance of seeing the baby if they stop by the exhibit closer to dusk.

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

The species has a ten-month gestation period. Their inter-birth rate extends past sixteen months (so there is not an overlap of young to care for). There is generally only one offspring per litter, and the young typically become independent at about a year old.


New Sloth at Stone Zoo Sticks Close to Mom

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The staff at Stone Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a Linne’s Two-toed Sloth. The baby, born November 2, is the offspring of Nero (age 11) and Lunesta (age 12). Visitors can see the baby, whose sex is not yet known, with its parents inside the ‘Windows to the Wild’ exhibit.

“As with any new baby, we are closely monitoring its health. The baby appears healthy, bright and alert and is holding on tightly to its mother,” said Pete Costello, Assistant Curator of Stone Zoo, adding, “Lunesta is an experienced mom and she is being very protective of her baby.”

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4_Sloth baby 10 11-4-16 Dayle Sullivan-TaylorPhoto Credits: Stone Zoo & Zoo New England/ Image 1: Bridget Collins Lyman/ Image 2-4: Dayle Sullivan-Taylor

Stone Zoo and Zoo New England participate 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. The birth is a result of a recommended breeding and is the third offspring for Nero and Lunesta.

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

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.

In celebration of the new baby sloth, Stone Zoo is offering a limited edition mother and baby sloth Zoodopt. Through the zoo’s Zoodopts program, patrons can support the care, feeding and enrichment of the animals…including the sloths! For details visit http://www.zoonewengland.org/act/ways-to-give/zoodopt .


Baby Sloth Worth the Wait

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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

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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.

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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.

Continue reading "Slow Down for a Look at This New Baby" »


Up Close and Fuzzy With a Baby Sloth

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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.

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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.

Continue reading "Up Close and Fuzzy With a Baby Sloth" »


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

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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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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.