Infant Sloth Slowly Makes Public Debut at the Minnesota Zoo
Editor’s Note: While bonding with mom, the sloth infant may not always be visible to the public. For a photo, please contact Kelly Lessard @ 952.431.9217 or email@example.com.
Apple Valley, MINN – March 7, 2013 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to announce that its infant sloth – only the second to be born at the Zoo – is slowly making his/her public debut on the Tropics Trail! The birth is a significant achievement for the sloth breeding program.
Born February 3, the Linne’s two-toed sloth infant has been doing very well and today was moved to its new exhibit in the nocturnal area. As mom and infant continue to bond and get used to their exhibit together, they may not always be visible to the public.
Sometimes called the slowest animals on earth, sloths–bit by bit–move deliberately along branches, conserving energy and avoiding detection from predators. Sloths feed primarily on vegetation—leaves, small twigs, berries, flowers, and fruit-and occasionally insects and small prey. Found in the coastal and mountainous tropical forests of Central America and northern South America, sloths live high in the forest canopy. They sleep, eat, mate, and give birth hanging upside down in a tree. Excellent swimmers, sloths will take to the water during the wet season to change trees in search of food. Some species of sloths are stable, while others are endangered. Threats to populations include habitat destruction and hunting for their meat, fur, and claws. Because of their slow nature, sloths are also frequently hit by cars in places where roads have been cut through the forest.
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).