Baby Sloth Cuddles With Furry Friend

Sloth baby bottle feed at ZSL London Zoo - July 2015 (c)ZSL
A baby Two-toed Sloth at the London Zoo has two special friends:  a zoo keeper and a stuffed toy Sloth to cuddle with.Yawning sloth baby at ZSL London Zoo - July 2015 (c)ZSL

Sloth baby on toy sloth at ZSL London Zoo - July 2015 (c)ZSLPhoto Credit:  ZSL London Zoo
The baby, born in June to second-time parents Marilyn and Leander, needed a helping hand when his mother stopped producing milk and was unable to care for her infant.

Keepers have named the young male Edward after the character Edward Scissorhands, due to his impressive claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and enable him to cling on and climb easily through the trees in his habitat.

To help strengthen Edward’s little limbs, keepers fitted his Sloth-teddy with carabiners so that it can be hung from a branch, enabling the youngster to cling the same way he would with mom.

Edward gets a bottle of goat’s milk every three hours, but, befitting the notoriously slow nature of Sloths, keepers sometimes have to wait for him to stir from a deep slumber before feeding can begin.  When Edward is hungry, he lets keepers know by emitting a loud, sneeze-like squeak.

Detailed records are maintained on everything the infant does, including eating , sleeping, and even Edward’s potty-habits. Sloths leave their high tree-top habitats only once a week to go to the toilet, so by keeping track of his poop, Edward’s keepers can account for any weight losses or gains.

Two-toed Sloths are slow-moving, tree-dwelling, nocturnal herbivores, found in tropical forests in Central and South America. Sloths are strong swimmers and can drop from a tree branch into a river to swim across it. When sleeping, Sloths often curl up in a ball in the fork of a tree.

Lincoln Park Zoo Says They Are ‘Hooked’ on New Sloth


Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, Illinois, has announced a new arrival. A Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth was born on July 25, at the zoo’s Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House!  

The sloth infant joins its 21-year-old mother, Hersey, and 32-year-old father, Carlos, on exhibit at the zoo. The sex and measurements of the newborn are yet to be determined, as the baby is clinging tight to Hersey. The sloth baby is a part of the Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan, which cooperatively manages the accredited zoo population. The baby sloth is the first offspring of this breeding pair.



5Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

“The sloth infant appears healthy and is passing critical milestones such as nursing regularly and clinging well to mother,” said Curator Diane Mulkerin. “Hersey is a first-time mother and is being very attentive to her new young.”

The sloth infant, Hersey, and Carlos can be seen on exhibit daily at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Regenstein Small Mammal Reptile House from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sloths are nocturnal so the infant and mother can be seen curled up in the canopy throughout the day and are more active towards the evening.

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is a species of sloth from 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.

The species is often confused with its relation, the Linnaeus’s Two-Toed Sloth, which it closely resembles. The primary difference between the two species relate to subtle skeletal features; for example, Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth has three foramina in the upper forward part of the interpterygoid space, rather than just two, and often has fewer cervical vertebrae.

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloths have large hooked claws that help the species hang from treetops in the canopies of tropical rainforests. On average, these sloths weigh around 12 pounds and can reach 27 inches in length and spend nearly all of their time upside down in treetops.

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Honolulu Zoo Welcomes First Newborn Sloth


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.


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


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


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


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



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_7

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!

Zoo Heidelberg_sloth_1

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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Zoo Heidelberg_sloth_3
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!


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.



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

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. 


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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