Cuteness alert! Virginia Zoo welcomes first baby sloth

Virginia News

The zoo is holding a naming auction

Virginia Zoo photo, released April 7, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Zoo was a little slow to announce a recent animal birth, but perhaps that’s because it’s a sloth!

It’s the first sloth birth at the zoo in Norfolk and the first offspring for mom, Honey and dad, Mervin, so this is pretty sweet news.

The two-toed sloth was born Sunday, March 8, but we still don’t know the gender. Staff has been hands-off with the infant as to not disrupt the bonding time between mom and baby.

“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.”

The zoo is currently closed to visitors because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but they shared photos of the new addition, who is hanging out with his family at the World of Reptiles.

The sloth baby doesn’t have a name yet. You get to have a say. An auction is underway now through April 21 at 5 p.m. so you better act fast. Visit bidpal.net/virginiazoo to submit your suggestion. Since we don’t know the sex yet, the zoo is encouraging names that are gender neutral. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund.


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