BPZOO WELCOMES SECOND BABY SLOTH
The Buttonwood Park Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a second Hoffman’s two-toed sloth to 13-year-old female Sandy and 21-year-old male Bernardo. This new baby arrived on August 26, 2022 and is thriving under the care of both Sandy and BPZOO staff.
Zoo guests may have spied the new baby during routine, weekly weight checks that allow animal care staff to monitor growth and eventually determine sex, which can be an extremely tricky process in sloths. The baby will cling tightly to its mother’s fur, high in the trees, until it is old enough to begin exploring the habitat. Young sloths remain near their mothers for around a year. Ziggy, who turned one in June, recently moved into “Brazil”, the habitat directly next to “Peru”, to give the new baby a chance to bond with Sandy.
Bernardo, Sandy, big brother Ziggy and baby are four of 77 Hoffman’s two-toed sloths living among 34 facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Buttonwood Park Zoo proudly cooperates with AZA members to manage the zoo population of this species through the Species Survival Plan while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild.
BPZOO’s resident sloths serve as ambassadors for their species. Thanks to the donations made to our Conservation Kiosk, we proudly support The Sloth Institute in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Funded 100% by donations, The Sloth Institute works to protect and enhance the welfare and conservation of sloths through education, research, rescue, rehab, and release while also conducting vital research, conservation, and education programs to ensure their survival.
BPZOO offers a daily “Keeper Chat”, an opportunity to learn more about these fascinating, slow-moving animals, at 10:00 am in Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs.
About Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloths
Hoffman’s two-toed sloths, Choloepus hoffmanni, are native to Costa Rica in lower Central America, across Panama, northwestern Colombia and Ecuador, and into portions of Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia. Currently listed as a Least Concern species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Hoffman’s two-toed sloths do not have any major threats at the global level. However, subpopulations in the northwestern part of its range, especially in Colombia and Central America, are declining due to severe habitat degradation and fragmentation. Wild-caught individuals, especially offspring, are sold as pets to tourists in Colombia. This illegal trade is increasing and represents a cause of concern due to its impact on the wild population. Two-toed sloths may live around 20 years in the wild and over 40 years in a zoological setting. This herbivorous, nocturnal mammal has been exhibited in AZA zoos since 1946.