Sloth

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. 


Sloth Orphans Receive Specialized Care

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

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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

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

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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

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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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Meet the Flintstones!

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Fred and Wilma are parents again!  The pair of Two-Toed Sloths are residents of the South American Aviary at the Heidelberg Zoo in Heidelberg, Germany.  On June 29th, the parents welcomed their third offspring.  The sex of the new cub isn't known yet, but the baby's name will find its inspiration from the Flintstones, as were the rest of the family's names.  Older siblings, Pebbles and Bam-Bam, have been successfully re-homed at zoos in France.

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Photo Credits: Thomas Bersch

Sloths spend the first few weeks of their lives well hidden and sheltered close to the mother.  By nature, sloths are solitary creatures, but parents, Fred and Wilma, have demonstrated a unique and intimate relationship.  The South American Aviary of Heidelberg Zoo is furnished with natural vegetation, and Fred and Wilma are often seen sharing a tree branch close to each other.

Two-Toed Sloths have a gestation period of six months to a year.  The mother gives birth to a single cub, while upside down.  Normally, a male sloth will have no interaction with the female once the infant arrives.  Zoos generally separate the mates for a time and place mother and child in isolation.  However, Fred and Wilma have proven an exception to the rule.  They have chosen to remain close throughout the process, and keepers at Heidelberg Zoo attest to the three cuddling so tight “it is difficult to see where a sloth begins and the other leaves off.”

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Surprise Sloth Baby Is a London Zoo First!

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ZSL London Zoo has welcomed its first ever baby Sloth, after a very surprise pregnancy.

Zookeepers were dealt a huge surprise in the Rainforest Life exhibit when female Sloth Marilyn was found to be pregnant – as they didn’t even know the male and female had mated.

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10498678_524835967552866_890713677474636574_oPhoto credit: Paul Boyd

 

Male Leander arrived from Germany at the end of 2012 to be paired with ZSL London Zoo’s resident female Marilyn, but despite their ploys to get the pair together, keepers had no idea that the sloths had even acknowledged one another, let alone successfully mated.

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Meet the 3-Day-Old Sloth at Ellen Trout Zoo

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Only three days old in these photos, this male Linne's Two-toed Sloth born at Texas’s Ellen Trout Zoo is already strong enough to hang onto mom’s fur as she climbs about.  The fifth baby for this mother, he arrived on January 16. 

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Photo Credit:  Ellen Trout Zoo

At 24 hours old, the baby had his first veterinary exam and was pronounced healthy.  He’s already had a small weight gain!  Zoo keepers remove the baby from mom daily for a quick weight check.  Mom tolerates this interaction because keepers always give her a healthy treat during the baby’s brief exam. 

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths are native to the rain forests of northern South America, where they spend most of their lives high in the treetops.  These sloths feed on plant material and use their long, hooked claws to suspend themselves from tree branches.  Though they are slow-moving, Linne’s Two-toed Sloths are excellent swimmers and can easily cross rivers and streams. 

See more photos below the fold.

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Two-Toed Sloth Joins the Family at the National Aquarium

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The National Aquarium welcomed a new addition to their Upland Tropical Rainforest—a baby sloth! The baby, named Scout, was born on November 17 to mother Ivy. In order to give Ivy and her baby time to bond, the staff has been observing the pair from a distance. Because of this, the newborn’s weight, height, and gender have yet to be determined. The baby joins an ever growing family of five with Syd, Howie, Xeno, Camden and Ivy. Scout is the fourth sloth born at the aquarium and the second born to Ivy. In celebration of Scout’s arrival, the National Aquarium has set up a baby registry. Fans can make donations to help purchase essential supplies to help care for Scout.

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“Our team is thrilled to welcome another baby sloth to our Rain Forest habitat,” said Ken Howell, Curator of the Upland Tropical Rain Forest. “It is an honor to work with these incredible animals and inspire our guests to learn more about the ways they can protect them.”

Sloths have had a home at the aquarium since 2007. Linne’s Two-Toes Sloths can be found in the aquarium’s Upland Tropical Rainforest, an exhibit modeled after the species' native habitat—South American rain forests. These slow moving mammals spend almost their entire lives in the trees, sleeping up to 20 hours a day.


Hand-raised Sloth Thrives at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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A little Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth is being hand-raised at Rosamond Gifford Zoo in New York. The young Sloth, a female, has named named Araña, the Spanish word for spider.

Says Zoo Director Ted Fox, “It is extremely rare for Sloths to be hand-reared, especially from such a very early age. The dynamic of our Sloth group led us to make the decision to hand-raise her, and we could not be more pleased with the remarkable success we have had.”

Born on August 1, Araña is the 49th Sloth baby to be born at the zoo, but the first to be hand-raised. Hand-raising a baby Sloth is not an easy task; zoos seldom choose to hand-raise Sloths, as past attempts have rarely been successful. But little Araña is thriving under very dedicated and careful attention, making the Rosamond Gifford Zoo the first known zoo in the United States to successfully hand-raise a Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth. 

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6 slothPhoto credit: Rosamond Gifford Zoo / Jaime Alvarez

Hand-raised Sloth babies are typically habituated through hands-on contact with their keepers and supplemental feedings, but remain with their mothers. Other U.S. zoos have hand-reared the Linne’s Two-toed Sloth, and the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica has had success in hand-raising the Hoffmann’s. 

“Our zoo has a long history with Hoffmann’s Two-toed sloths; the species first arrived here in 1983. I commend the animal staff for their excellent work in caring for Araña, particularly given her unique situation,” said County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

Sloths are adapted for life in the tree canopy in lowland and upland tropical forests, and are native to Central America and northern South America, including portions of Peru and central Brazil. They are nocturnal and the world's slowest mammal, typically sleeping 15 hours or more each day. They travel hand-over-hand through the tree tops up to 120 feet (36 m) off the ground, and only venture to the ground about once a week.

Hoffman's Two-toed Sloths have long and well-developed limbs with two long, curved claws on their front feet and three on their hind, which enable them to hang upside down from tree limbs. They have difficulty with mobility on the ground because they are physically incapable of truly walking, but are actually good swimmers using a type of overhand stroke.

Sloths are not on the endangered species list. However, their habitat is quickly being destroyed, leaving them homeless and vulnerable to a decrease in their population size. They are part of a Species Survival Plan, a collaborative effort between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and zoos around the world to help ensure their survival. These programs coordinate breeding between zoos, so that populations in captivity can retain healthy genetic diversity.