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Virginia Zoo's sloths welcome new bundle of joy

Virginia Zoo Sloth Photo 1.jpg
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Virginia Zoo Sloth Photo 2.jpg
Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 17:33:35-04

NORFOLK, Va. – We love The Virginia Zoo's newest bundle of joy "slow" much!

The Zoo had its first sloth birth on March 8, and this two-toed sloth is the first offspring for mom Honey and dad Mervin, who came to the Zoo in March 2019.

“The infant is doing really well, nursing from mom and eating small bites of cooked veggies from its mom and the Keepers,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “From birth, sloth babies learn to hang onto mom’s chest or stomach and will stay out of view to avoid detection from predators. For this reason, and to not disturb the bond between mom and baby, we stay hands off with the infant unless we have concerns. Our Keepers are monitoring mom and baby’s behavior closely as they bond and are skilled at identifying subtle changes in the animals.” added Dr. Clabbers.

The happy family is in their exhibit together at the World of Reptiles, where they can be found sleeping most of the day and being more active at night.

Experts say baby sloths will stay with their mothers for 11 to 12 months, but the baby will start climbing off of mom around one month of age. In zoos, sometimes the babies will also hang from the fathers at times, but experts say fathers don’t generally play a part in helping to raise offspring.

The Virginia Zoo is also auctioning naming rights of the sloth baby. The public can place bids on the infant’s name through April 23. You can place your bid here.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund, which will help support operations and ensure the Zoo has additional resources to go the extra mile for any areas of need.