A baby two-toed sloth is the newest addition to the National Aviary from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, joining approximately 500 birds, and another sloth called Wookie.
The tiny animal, which is just 3 months old and weighs 2 pounds, was brought from Florida on Monday, February 8, and enjoyed quite a comfortable and even luxurious journey, being transported by private jet.
The baby two-toed sloth was actually donated to the National Aviary by its prior owner, whose identity hasn’t been released to the public.
Apparently, the young mammal was held in captivity right from the day when it was born, being purchased from a breeder in order to serve as a rather unlikely pet.
It’s unclear why the owner decided to part with it eventually, but now that the baby two-toed sloth has joined the National Aviary it will surely get all the care and attention it requires, benefiting from regular medical check-ups and being trained how to swing from tree to tree just like in the wild.
After a private plane trip in the company of Pilar Fish, director of veterinary medicine at the indoor nonprofit zoo, the male sloth continued to receive VIP treatment, a red carpet awaiting its arrival at the Allegheny County Airport.
Now, plans are under way for a new baby shower for the furry mammal, during which it is hoped that funds will be raised in order to assist the nonprofit organization in making all the necessary changes so that the much-awaited guest can settle in its new home as pleasantly as possible.
Zoo administrators have also announced that at this upcoming event a name will be chosen for the baby two-toed sloth, the honor of coming up with a fitting moniker being granted to the highest bidder at the auction that the National Aviary will be organizing.
Only time will tell how the little creature will get along with the zoo’s other two-toed sloth named Wookie, which was brought to the National Aviary so that the environment can more reliably replicate the tropical rainforests that the birds normally inhabit.
As revealed by Cathy Shlott, the zoo’s curator of behavioral management and education, this beloved resident is 13 years old, and has been delighting visitors from the very beginning, enjoying significant popularity and attention even though it tends to be quite solitary.
It will be interesting to see if the sloths will get along well, or eventually engage in scuffles, after turning overly territorial.
Normally, two-toed sloths can survive for up to 15 years in the wilderness, being commonly found in rainforests from Central and South America, whereas in captivity their life expectancy tends to be twice as high.
The predominantly nocturnal mammals can sleep up to 20 hours per day, and usually feed on leaves, plant stems, fruit or nuts, which they digest extremely slowly.
The vast majority of time, two-toed sloths can be seen hanging upside down, even when they eat, mate or give birth. They are unable to walk, which is why they rely on the strength of their arms and on the grip of their unusually long claws to slowly move from tree to tree.
Image Source: San Diego Union Tribune