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.
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.”