No Need to Hurry to See Our New Baby

The Virginia Zoo has welcomed a baby two-toed sloth to its collection. The newborn arrived overnight on April 17 and is the second offspring for mom, Honey and dad, Mervin. Even though baby sloths are only 12-16 ounces when born, they are born mobile from the moment of birth and able to cling to their mothers’ undersides with their long nails. When they are born they are covered in fur, with fully developed teeth and with their eyes open.

“You can’t help but swoon over a baby sloth,” said Greg Bockheim, Executive Director of the Virginia Zoo. “We will not know for some time if the newborn is a girl or boy since newborns tend to cling to their moms to stay out of view of potential predators but we are excited for visitors to see it on exhibit with the parents,” Bockheim added.

The sloth family is in their exhibit along with the Titi monkeys in the Conservatory at the World of Reptiles. Sloths sleep most of the day and are more active at night. The baby will stay with its mother for 11 to 12 months but will start climbing off around one month of age to explore its surroundings. The gender has not yet been determined as Keepers will not interfere with mom and baby while they bond these first few weeks.

The Zoo’s first-born sloth, Trey, was born in March of 2020 and her naming rights were auctioned off for more than $3,000 which benefited the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund in the midst of the closure due to COVID-19. This time, anyone can submit a name suggestion for just $5. The names will then be narrowed down by Zoo Keepers and the sloth family will choose the final name.

Gender neutral name entries will be accepted from today, May 2 to May 7, via the Zoo’s website HERE.

The name will be revealed via social media on May 16, 2022. Proceeds will benefit the Zoo’s Act for Wildlife fund, which benefits conservation efforts around the world.