MELBOURNE, Fla., January 22, 2019 — On the morning of Friday, January 4, Brevard Zoo welcomed another baby in the form of a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth. The infant’s mother, 13-year-old Sammy, is taking great care of the as-yet-unnamed newborn.
Sammy’s first child, Tango, also resides at the Zoo and gave birth to baby Lorenzo in October 2018. Tango did not demonstrate interest in her baby, likely because she was a first-time mother, so the decision was made for animal care staff to hand-raise Lorenzo.
“Sammy is not a first-time mom, so she has experience in raising babies,” said Michelle Smurl, director of animal programs at the Zoo. “We’re glad to be able to take a hands-off approach and see the newborn thriving in a more natural setting.”
Fifteen-year-old male Dustin fathered both babies. The newborn’s sex is unknown at the time as testing is needed to determine this information in sloths.
The newborn will remain on their mother for around six months before becoming independent. Sammy and her baby are located in La Selva, but are not viewable due to construction. However, guests have the opportunity to spot the pair from above on Treetop Trek.
Notorious for their slow-paced lifestyle, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths face challenges from habitat loss and the exotic pet trade in central and South America.
Treetop Trek features five aerial obstacle courses that whisk guests above parts of the Zoo and through lush Florida landscapes. More information is available at www.treetoptrek.com.