Sloth

Snacktime for Sloths at Capron Park Zoo

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A Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth was born in early September at Capron Park Zoo in Massachusetts. The baby is doing very well and enjoys hanging on to mom, munching on leaves, and taking naps. The little Hoffman's Sloth has been named Rayne for Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie Rainman, and is mom's second successful birth. The first, born last year, is named Hassel, for David Hasselhoff. 

Sloths are famously slow South American mammals that spend most of their time hanging upside-down from trees. After a long gestation period of about a year, Two-toed Sloths may even give birth while hanging upside-down!

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Sleepy Sloth Clings to Mom at Zoo Budapest

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On September 21, a Sloth was born at Zoo Budapest to first-time mom, Lili. The Sloth baby, a healthy male, has been given the respectable name Zippo. He lives in a community of six Sloths, including his maternal grandmother Banya and his father, who was traded in from another zoo in order to prevent inbreeding. Lucky visitors to the zoo may be able to catch a glimpse of the baby clinging to his mother in the New World tropical exhibit.

Sloths take their time with everything, and their reproductive cycle is no exception. They have an especially long gestation period lasting 44 to 50 weeks. After a year or so of pregnancy, the mother will spend six to nine months caring for her baby. They also take a long time to reach sexual maturity, only reproducing for the first time  between 3.5 and 5 years of age. Because it takes so much time and work to successfully raise offspring, it's a good thing that these creatures can live up to 40 years.

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3 slothPhoto credits: L. Kékesdi Gyula /  Zoo Budapest 


San Diego Zoo's Newest Ambassador Needs A Name!

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The youngest member of the San Diego Zoo's animal ambassador team is a five-month-old Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth, and this female baby needs a name!

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Photo Credit:  Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

The zoo staff has selected four names for the public to vote on:

Xena (pronounced ZEE-nah): The taxonomic superorder Xenarthra is comprised of Armadillos, Sloths and Anteaters.

Dulce (pronounced DUEL-say): This is Spanish for sweet

Guiana (pronounced gee-ON-a): Two-toed sloths are native to this region in northeastern South America.

Subida (pronounced soo-BEE-dah): In Spanish, this word means rise, increase, ascent, and way up.

Visit this website to cast your vote.    The baby Sloth is currently being trained to meet people up close during special animal presentations and outings.

Sloths are slow-moving, solitary, arboreal, forest-dwelling nocturnal herbivores, found in tropical forests and cloud forests in Central and South America. Their sharp claws are 3 to 4 inches long and come in handy for hanging onto trees. Sloths sleep 15 to 18 hours per day and (slowly) look for food the rest of the day.


Save Our Sloths!

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Years before Sloths inspired best selling books, TV specials and Kirsten Bell meltdowns, ZooBorns was delivering them to your eyeballs courtesy of The Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. This unique facility has been rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured sloths for over 20 years. Now they need our help.

With almost 150 Sloths in their care, The Sloth Sanctuary is reaching capacity and needs to release more rescued animals back into the wild. In order to ensure these animals are thriving, biologist Rebecca Cliffe is raising money for GPS tracking equipment that will allow staff to monitor the released animals. This will also provide critical data in support of the Sloth Backpack Project, which seeks to better understand sloth diet, habitat preferences and reproductive habits. Learn more about this effort and contribute to Save Our Sloths on Indiegogo.

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Bucket of Baby Sloths.jpgHow many baby Sloth can you count above? Photo credits: Becky Cliffe / The Sloth Sanctuary

Need that link again? Learn more about this effort and contribute to Save Our Sloths on Indiegogo.


Baby Sloth Clings to Mom at Zoo Vienna

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On April 16th, Zoo Vienna welcomed a new member to their zoo in the form of a baby Two-Toed Sloth. Since then, the baby has been hitching a ride on its mother, where it will spend the next six months of its life. "Newborn Sloths use their mother for the first half year as a hammock and cling to her belly fur and cuddle," explained zoo Director Dagmar Schratter.

This is already fourth baby for parents Alberta and Einstein in the six years they have lived at Zoo Vienna. "Alberta is already an experienced mother. She nurses her baby, grooms it and shows him how to nibble lettuce leaves," Schratter said. Visitors can try to catch a view of the baby, whose sex has yet to be determined, clinging to its mother's belly in the zoo's aviary.

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Photo Credits: Norbert Potensky / Zoo Vienna

Two-Toed Sloths, native to the rainforests of South America, spend their lives in the trees crawling through the canopies clinging upside down to branches. They have specially adapted long curved claws to help assist them in this lifestyle. Another notable adapation for this inverted lifestyle is the way sloths' hair parts. In order to allow rain water to drain easily, their hair is parted along their bellies, not their backs. Sloths generally move very slowly, simply because they don't have to move any quicker. With a fantastically camouflaged coat there is little worry about predation and sloths can slowly make their way through the canopy searching for their diet of fruits, leaves and buds.


Mystic Aquarium Visits Baby Sloth at Sloth Sanctuary Costa Rica

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Is this baby Three-toed Sloth smiling? Only three weeks old, it seemingly posed for photographer Patrick Shea, part of the team representing Mystic Aquarium, Nautilus Live and The JASON Project. They were in Costa Rica the week of March 19, researching for a new Mystic Aquarium exhibit to open next year. The group was also scouting locations for live programming through JASON and Nautilus. Along the way they made a visit to the Sloth Sanctuary Costa Rica, where they rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned Sloths, and met the little one.

There are both Two-toed and Three-toed Sloths. Both are built for living their entire life - even when having babies - hanging in the trees, aided by those long, powerful claws. They are so sedentary that moss grows on their coat (which aids them as camouflage while living among the leaves)! This has won them the informal title of worlds slowest mammal. They sleep from 15-20 hours a day, and even while awake, they move very little, unless threatened by a predator.  At night they eat the trees leaves, shoots, and fruit and get almost all of their water from juicy plants.

You can read more ZooBorns posts about sloths from this sanctuary HERE

Photo Credit: Patrick Shea/Sea Research Foundation

It's Breakfast Time for Baby Sloth

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A baby Linne’s Two-toed Sloth, born on February 3 at the Minnesota Zoo, is slowly making its public debut.  The infant is only the second Sloth born at the zoo and is a significant achievement for the Sloth breeding program. 

The baby’s gender is not yet known, and it spends most of its time clinging to mom.  The video below captures mom and baby nibbling a nutritious breakfast of carrots, squash, hard-boiled eggs, and romaine lettuce, hand-delivered by zoo keepers.  In the wild, Sloths eat leaves, small twigs, berries, flowers, fruit, and occasionally insects and small prey.



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Photo Credits:  Minnesota Zoo

Sometimes called the slowest animals on earth, Sloths live high in the rain forest canopy of Central America and northern South America.  Their slow movements allow them to conserve energy and avoid detection from predators like Harpy Eagles and Jaguars.  Sloths sleep, eat, mate, and give birth hanging upside down in trees. They are also excellent swimmers.

 


Baby Sloth Hangs Out with Mom at Belfast Zoo

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Belfast Zoological Garden’s baby boom isn’t slowing down, although the latest newborn there is considered the world’s slowest mammal! On December 12, keepers were delighted to discover a baby Linne’s Two-toed Sloth.  

Sloths are found in the treetops of Central and South American rain forests. They spend nearly all of their time aloft, hanging from branches with a powerful grip, due in large part to their long claws. They are a nocturnal species, and so sleep for 15 to 20 hours every day. Their diet of leaves provides little energy; in order to conserve their resources, they move very slowly. In fact, even when they are awake, they often remain motionless.

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Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo

Due to the Sloth’s nocturnal behavior, the baby has been named Luna, which means ‘moon’ in Spanish. Zoo Curator, Andrew Hope, said, “Newborn Two-toed Sloths use the stomach of their mother as a cradle and are well camouflaged in her fur so it can be quite difficult to spot them. Our keepers discovered that Natja had given birth at 12:00 p.m. on the 12th of December in 2012 -- and if that isn’t special enough, this is the first Sloth to be born at Belfast Zoo and in Ireland!  It is fair to say that we are ‘over the moon’ with Luna’s arrival.”

See another picture of the sleepy Sloth after the fold:

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Baby Sloth Hangs out at Pueblo Zoo

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On October 24, the Pueblo Zoo welcomed a baby Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth.

For the first few weeks of life, the baby, whose gender is not yet known, will remain off-exhibit with its mother, Chewie. Pueblo Zoo officials are seeking help to name the baby via the zoo’s Facebook page. The staff’s favorite name? They’d like to continue the “Star Wars” theme started with the mother’s name and call the baby Han.

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Because they subsist on leaves, which provide little energy, Sloths conserve their resources by moving slowly. Their shaggy, algae-covered fur blends expertly with the treetops, making them nearly impossible to see unless they move – which is not often, although sloths will descend to the ground to relocate to a new tree or to defecate, which occurs about once a week. Sloths digest their food very slowly, so slow that up to two-thirds of their body weight may come from leaves in their digestive tract.

Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloths are found in two separate areas of South America: southern Central America, extending into Colombia and Ecuador, and a separate population in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. In both areas, they live an arboreal life in the rain forest canopy. Although forest destruction is likely affecting Sloth populations, not enough is known about this species in the wild to evaluate its status.

Photo Credit: Pueblo Zoo


Help Name This Baby Sloth!

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The National Aquarium in Baltimore's baby Sloth is ready for a name! Following two weeks of accepting name suggestions from the public as part of a baby sloth naming contest, the aquarium is excited to announce the following four names for final consideration:

  • Iris – In honor of the beautiful flower
  • Camden – In honor of the city it was born in, Baltimore, and the winning baseball season
  • Waylay – Meaning surprise, like the baby was for Ivy
  • Izzy – Submitted by a teacher on behalf of a Frederick County Public Schools class that selected the name
  • Luna – Meaning moon in Spanish

Please take this opportunity to vote here http://aqua.org/explore/sloth-naming-contest for your favorite name of the five listed above. Voting will run through November 15 and the final name will be announced on Friday, November 16th.

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Photo credit: Jessica Nelson, National Aquarium

The baby, and mother Ivy, have been doing well since keepers first discovered the young Sloth in late August. Here are some details about baby and Ivy to inspire your votes:

  • Linne's Two-toed Sloths are native to South America and can be found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil (north of the Amazon River)
  • Sloths spend their entire lives in the trees and are nocturnal by nature
  • This baby is Ivy's first and the third born at the National Aquarium