The San Diego Zoo has announced it welcomed “slow much cuteness” with its newest addition—a Linnaeus two-toed sloth.
The baby sloth was born on June 25 to mother Xena, one of the Zoo’s popular wildlife ambassadors. Wildlife care specialists report the newborn sloth is doing well, instinctively clinging to its mother, nursing and fainting strength daily.
“We are thrilled and honored to have this baby sloth in our care,” said Clint Lusardi, wildlife care manager at the San Diego Zoo. “It was a large baby at birth and is developing quickly”.
According to Lusardi, the baby sloth began eating solid foods three days after birth, which is not usually seen until day ten. The sloth’s gender has yet to be determined and has spent its time bonding with mom.
“Xena is taking excellent care of her baby as it continues to grow and thrive every day. Our wildlife care specialists have been interacting with Xena and the baby from day one, and we are proud to slowly start introducing the little one to our guests, giving them a chance to learn about this amazing species,” Lusardi said.
Sloths have a reputation for being slow and lazy, but wildlife care specialists attribute these traits to their eating habits. According to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, the sloth diet consists of a variety of leaves, stems, and some fruit and because of the low nutritional value in their leafy diets, they move at a leisurely pace.
Native to the tropical and cloud forests of Central and South America, sloths are nocturnal and slow-paved creatures who spend most of their lives upside down in the trees. According to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, they eat, sleep, and give birth from this position, using curved sharp claws to hang onto the tree branches.
Guests may see Xena and her baby during a wildlife presentation at the Rady Ambassador Presentation area in the Wildlife Explorers base camp or during an exclusive VIP Experience— a five-hour upgraded zoo tour.
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