Buttercup sloth gives birth st Salisbury Zoo

Buttercup, the Salisbury Zoo’s 7-year-old sloth and new mother, has taken her baby out of their habitat, in view of the public at least once, as far as zookeepers know.

The baby, whose gender is unknown and who hasn’t yet been named, was born in July and first spotted by a staff member the first weekend in August.

The newborn was discovered by a zookeeper who was cleaning the exhibit.

“Taking a closer look, the keeper saw a newborn sloth baby tucked snuggly around mom’s waist,” according to a news release issued by the city.

“Since then, zoo staff has been monitoring Mom and baby in their inside home to be certain that the baby was nursing. It was left up to Mom as to when she would venture outside with the newborn,” the news release stated.

“As the baby matures, Mom will feel more comfortable venturing outside with the baby. Until then, things like weather and Mom’s instincts may keep baby and Mom inside.

“If you observe the sloths in their exhibit the baby will be found clinging to its mother’s chest. Young are carried by their Mom for six to nine months,” the news release states.

Sloths recline or hang upside down in trees as they eat, sleep, mate and give birth. They have one baby at a time, after a gestation of five to six months for some types and as much as 11 months for others.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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