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Stone Zoo celebrates the birth of a Linne’s two-toed sloth


Visitors to Stone Zoo will notice a new tiny, adorable face following the recent birth of a Linne’s two-toed sloth.

The baby was born on March 21, and is the seventh offspring for parents Lunesta and Nero. The baby’s first exam was on March 23, and it was reported to be strong, alert and had a full belly of milk.

“We are thrilled to welcome another sloth to the Stone Zoo animal family, and know our guests will enjoy watching the baby as it grows up and reaches important milestones,” said Pete Costello, Assistant Curator at Stone Zoo, adding, “For the first several months, the baby will be very attached to Lunesta, who is an excellent and experienced mother. We are closely monitoring mom and baby, and everything has gone smoothly so far.”

Zoo New England participates in the Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. The birth is a result of a recommended breeding between Nero and Lunesta.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are furry mammals that live in trees and are found in the tropical forests of South America. They spend almost their whole lives dangling upside-down from branches that they hold on to with all four clawed feet. While these animals move really well through the branches, once they are on the ground, they are very slow and vulnerable to predators as they are not built for walking.

As the name “two-toed sloth” suggests, its front limbs have two toes. However, like all species of sloths, its rear limbs have three toes. Sloths are also covered in two layers of thick hair. The outer layer can be about 6 inches long and provides a perfect, moist environment for the growth of many organisms. Their hair grows in the opposite direction of most mammals because sloths spend the majority of their lives upside-down.