After what felt like an eternity for the Denver Zoo, their long-awaited Linne’s Two-toed Sloth baby finally arrived on April 11.
The new baby, whose name and sex are yet to be determined, has been deemed “very healthy” by the Zoo’s veterinary team. The infant was born to 23-year-old mom, Charlotte Greenie, and her 28-year-old mate, Elliot. The little one is said to be bonding and resting with Charlotte in their Bird World habitat, while dad and older sister, Baby Ruth (who was born in January 2018), are temporarily off-exhibit to give mom and baby time and space to bond.
When Denver Zoo announced Charlotte’s pregnancy in December, they estimated that the baby would be born as early as January. However, Sloth due dates are notoriously challenging to predict because they are primarily active at night and breeding is rarely observed. The Zoo’s animal care team closely monitored Charlotte for months to ensure that she and the baby were healthy and gaining the appropriate amount of weight. According to keepers, the baby clung to Charlotte immediately after birth and will remain attached to her almost exclusively for at least six months.
Linne’s Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus didactylus)—also known as the Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth or Southern Two-toed Sloth—are found in the rainforests of South America, primarily in Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. They are a nocturnal species that spend 15 to 20 hours per day sleeping, and become active about an hour after sunset until about two hours before sunrise. Linne’s are among two types of sloth: two-toed and three-toed—and six different species, including the Pygmy Three-toed, Maned, Pale-throated, Brown-throated, and Hoffman’s. Although the Linnaeus’s Two-toed is not currently considered threatened, two other species, the Pygmy Three-toed and Maned, are “critically endangered” and “vulnerable”, respectively.
Denver Zoo keepers say the best time to visit the new baby and mother is late in the afternoon when mom, Charlotte, is more likely to be moving around. Keepers ask that visitors keep their voices low while the baby adjusts to life in its new world.
Be sure to follow the Denver Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular baby sloth updates!