On the morning of January 4, Brevard Zoo welcomed another baby in the form of a Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth. According to keepers, the infant’s 13- year-old mother, Sammy, is taking great care of her newborn.
“Sammy is not a first-time mom, so she has experience in raising babies,” said Michelle Smurl, Director of Animal Programs at the Zoo. “We’re glad to be able to take a hands-off approach and see the newborn thriving in a more natural setting.”
The newborn’s sex is currently unknown, as testing is needed to determine this information in sloths. The new baby will remain with mom for around six months before becoming independent.
Sammy and her baby are located in the La Selva exhibit but are not viewable to the public due to construction. However, guests may have the opportunity to spot the pair, from above, on “Treetop Trek”.
Sammy’s firstborn, Tango, also resides at Brevard Zoo. Tango gave birth to baby Lorenzo in October 2018. Unfortunately, Tango didn’t demonstrate interest in her baby, likely because she was a first-time mother, so the decision was made by animal care staff to hand-raise Lorenzo.
The Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) is from South America. The species is found in Venezuela, the Guyanas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil north of the Amazon River. There is now evidence suggesting the species' range expands into Bolivia. They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.