Sloth

Hellabrunn Zoo Waits Four Years for Sloth Baby

1_Sloth Baby_Hellabrunn_2018_Michael Matziol

Visitors to Hellabrunn Zoo might need a little patience to spot one of their newest residents. A Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth baby, with brown button eyes, can be seen clinging to protective mom Maya, high up in a tree in the middle of the Zoo’s Rhino House. Born on June 18, the new offspring is the first Two-toed Sloth born at Hellabrunn Zoo in four years.

2_Sloth family_Hellabrunn_2018_Michael Matziol

3_Sloth Baby_Hellabrunn_018_Marc Müller (1)

4_Sloth Baby_Hellabrunn_018_Marc Müller (5)Photo Credits: Tierpark Hellabrunn/ Michael Matziol

The Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is native to Central and South America usually sleeps between 15 and 20 hours a day. Considering that they can live up to the age of 40, this means they sleep for almost 34 years of their lives.

In the wild, sloths live with their parents for about one to two years. Females become sexually mature at the age of three, while males do not attain maturity until the age of four to five.

Maya is a first-time mom, and the experienced father is 26-year-old Heinz. It is not yet known whether their new baby sloth is a boy or girl.

"Determining the sex of a sloth based on external features alone is subject to error. So it will probably take a while until we are 100 per cent certain of the sex of the pup", explained Carsten Zehrer, curator for sloths at Hellabrunn Zoo. Accordingly, the little sloth has not yet been given a name.

Two-toed Sloths are inhabitants of the rainforest. Like many of the other fauna and flora of this habitat, they are severely impacted by deforestation and the resulting loss of habitat.

Although sloth behavior is not fully understood, it is known that they spend most of their lives hanging upside down from tree branches. Sloths have a low calorie diet, which means they need to conserve the little energy they receive from their food – by moving very slowly and very little. However, sloths are surprisingly strong swimmers, provided they can reach water.

Unlike most other mammals that have hair parting on their heads or backs, the sloth's fur runs in the opposite direction – from belly to back – with the parting on the belly. This upside down hanging fur helps water run right off its body when it rains.

5_Sloth Baby_Hellabrunn_2018_MartinaOefelein


Keepers Are ‘Slow’ to Spot New Sloth Baby

1_Marilyn and Lento - two-toed sloths (c) ZSL London Zoo (3)

After mum Marilyn’s nearly yearlong pregnancy, keepers at ZSL London Zoo finally caught a glimpse of her new little one that was born on February 12. Keepers spotted the new Two-toed Sloth infant, being cradled by mum, as they made their morning rounds.

ZSL sloth keeper, Steve Goodwin, said, “We saw two big brown eyes peering out through mum’s fur, and on closer inspection, we were delighted to see a healthy-looking youngster tucked into her tummy.”

“Sloths have a long gestation period, so the infants are already physically well-developed when they’re born. Incredibly, this means they are able to eat solid food right away. However, juveniles tend to stay with their mother for around 12 months before leaving their side - they’re a very ‘clingy’ species in general; to trees and to their mum.”

2_Marilyn and Lento - two-toed sloths (c) ZSL London Zoo (1)

3_Marilyn and Lento - two-toed sloths (c) ZSL London Zoo (2)Photo Credits: ZSL London Zoo

Keepers won’t know the youngster’s sex until vets scan it, as there aren’t many obvious external differences between males and females. Boy or girl, the newborn is a valuable addition to its species and once its sex is confirmed, its details will be added to the European Studbook (ESB), which is part of a coordinated breeding programme for Two-toed Sloths.

In the meantime, keepers report that they are keeping a close eye on both Marilyn and her one-month-old baby, who they’ve nicknamed Lento, which means ‘slow’ in Spanish.

“Marilyn is doing an excellent job as a mum,” says Steve. “The baby is growing fast and is very inquisitive – we’ve spotted some brave attempts to clamber over mum’s head, using her as a climbing frame and grabbing at the trees!”

Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus didactylus) are nocturnal mammals that are native to South America. Although notoriously slow, they are impressive climbers. Holding on to its mum will enable ZSL London Zoo’s new infant to build up the valuable muscles needed to climb easily through the tree-top branches of its Rainforest Life home.

The new youngster was also born with the Two-toed Sloth’s characteristically impressive claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and also help when the youngster is ready to move from tree to tree on its own.

Guests can visit new mum, Marilyn, and the whole incredible sloth family at ZSL London Zoo’s Rainforest Life, while journeying through the Zoo’s brand new Superpowers Trail. Find out more at: www.zsl.org


Peek at a 2-day-old Baby Sloth

Sloth_Baby_Face

Denver Zoo is happy to announce the arrival of a baby Linne’s Two-toed Sloth, who was born on January 28 to Charlotte Greenie, the zoo’s 21-year-old female Sloth, and her 27-year-old mate, Elliot. Charlotte and the baby, whose name has not yet been chosen or gender identified, are both healthy and thriving and made their public debut on February 1.

Sloth_Baby_Day2
Sloth_Baby_Day2Photo Credit: Denver Zoo

Throughout her 10-month pregnancy, Charlotte, who came to Denver Zoo from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2015, and her baby were closely monitored by zoo experts with regular ultrasounds, checkups and weigh-ins to ensure they were healthy and gaining the appropriate amount of weight. Keepers even devised an innovative method to weigh Charlotte by training her to come to a specific branch connected to a scale. The baby clung to Charlotte immediately after birth and will continue to cling to her almost exclusively for at least six months.

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths, which are also known as the Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth or Southern Two-toed Sloth, are found in the rainforests of South America, primarily in Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. They are a nocturnal species that spend 15 to 20 hours per day sleeping.  They become active about an hour after sunset until about two hours before sunrise.

See more photos below.

Continue reading "Peek at a 2-day-old Baby Sloth" »


National Aviary Has New Sloth Ambassador

1_National Aviary_Baby Sloth Looks Right at the Camera_Jamie Greene

The National Aviary recently introduced its new Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth. The female was born August 21, 2017 and has been named Vivien, in honor of the iconic actress, Vivien Leigh.

Measuring about 14 ½” long and weighing almost 2.5 pounds, Vivien made her appearance in the arms of her caretakers. Dr. Pilar Fish, National Aviary Director of Veterinary Medicine, conducted a checkup to assess Vivien’s growth and overall health, and at the end of the exam pronounced the little Sloth in excellent health.

2_National Aviary_Baby Sloth Profile_Jamie Greene

3_National Aviary_Baby Sloth Close Up_Jamie Greene

4_National Aviary_Baby Sloth Drinking from Bottle_Jamie GreenePhoto Credits: National Aviary/Jamie Greene (Video features a joint announcement with special friend of the National Aviary and Ellen Degeneres, Violet Spataro.)

Vivien will be hand-raised by National Aviary experts, so she’ll be comfortable around people and well prepared for her role as an educational ambassador.

Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is a species of sloth from South America. They are found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil north of the Amazon River. Their habitats are rapidly diminishing due to human activity.

Guests who meet the new baby Sloth will learn about the importance of conservation and what steps they can take to protect rainforest creatures. Visitors can see the baby during daily “Sloth Talks” at 12:30 pm, beginning January 9 (included with admission). In addition, guests will have the opportunity to book an interactive encounter with her beginning February 1st in which guests can touch the Sloth, take photos, and interact with her in a comfortable, private setting.

Two other Sloths, Valentino and Wookiee, also make their home at the National Aviary.

“We are delighted to welcome another Sloth,” says National Aviary Executive Director Cheryl Tracy. “Public response to the arrival of Valentino in 2016 was, and has continued to be, overwhelmingly positive, and with so much interest in seeing and learning about this remarkable species, we felt that the time was right to introduce another. Like Valentino, this precious little girl Sloth will be an ambassador for her species, and for all those creatures that live in the rain forests and cloud forests of Central and South America. And we hope that one day, several years down the road, Vivien and Valentino will become parents to new Sloths born at the National Aviary.”

5_National Aviary_Baby Sloth_Eating

6_National Aviary_Cathy Schlott Smiles at Baby Sloth_Jamie Greene


Topeka Zoo Receives Special Holiday Gift

Foley-2

A sweet Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth, born at the Topeka Zoo on December 16, is clinging to mom and doing everything a baby Sloth should do.

When new mom Jacque showed her new baby to the Zoo’s Animal Care Staff, the baby was alert and clinging to mom in a good nursing position. According to keepers, both mom and baby appear to be bright and alert and doing great. A primary zookeeper at the Zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest exhibit has named the baby “Foley”.

There are currently four Sloths living in the Topeka Zoo’s ‘Tropical Rain Forest’. They include new mother, Jacque (age 27), father, Mocha (age 19), Newt (age 1) and the newborn, Foley. This is the 15th offspring for Jackie and the fourth for Mocha. Zoo staff monitored Jacque’s pregnancy closely but had high confidence that mom knew exactly what to do.  

The Topeka Zoo is proud of the long successful history with Sloth reproduction, and they attribute it, largely, to the rain forest environment the Sloths are provided at the Zoo.

Foley-1Photo Credits: Topeka Zoo

The Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a species of sloth native to 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.

Sloths are known for their slow moving, solitary arboreal behavior. They do everything upside down, including: eating, sleeping, mating and even giving birth.

Habitat destruction is causing a decrease in the wild Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth population, but sloths and humans have little contact with one another in the wild. They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.


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.

Baby-Sloth-1
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

1_31166822670_442aac2e03_o

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.

2_30698060604_bf2b5d4389_o

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

1_sloth baby - Bridget Collins Lyman.jpg 2

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.”

3_Sloth baby 13 11-5-16 Dayle Sullivan-Taylor

2_Sloth baby 16 11-5-16 Dayle Sullivan-Taylor

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

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

1_12717238_10153823240891113_6509293888999819782_n

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.

2_12744509_10153823240856113_1170341355095170132_n

3_12742250_10153823240811113_9119002000452019760_n

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" »