Baby sloth born joins family at Salisbury Zoo

For the Salisbury Zoo, “Friday the 13th last month was anything but unlucky,” said Ian Shelley, Collection Manager on finding a newborn sloth.

Zoo keepers had suspected that the mother was pregnant but were unsure of exactly when to expect the infant.  Staff have been monitoring mom and baby in their inside home to be certain that the baby was nursing and gaining weight. Mom and baby have constant access to the indoor and outdoor – a few lucky visitors have seen the baby clinging to the mother outside. Because they are nocturnal they spend much of the day resting in their private off-exhibit building.

This is the second birth for Buttercup, the Zoo’s 8 year old female sloth and Raven, the 5 year old male sloth.  Young sloths are carried by their mothers for the first 6-9 months of life. As the baby matures, Buttercup will feel more comfortable venturing outside with the baby.  If you observe the sloths in their exhibit the baby will most likely be found clinging to its mother’s chest.

Sloths are found in Central and South America and are arboreal- living high in the forest canopy.   Sloths do everything hanging upside down —even giving birth.


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