Staff at Dudley Zoo and Castle are overjoyed at the birth of the park’s first rare Linne’s two-toed sloth. It is the first baby sloth born at the 85-year-old Black Country attraction.
On Monday, April 4, late afternoon, mother Flo gave birth to her first child. Keepers were taken aback when they noticed the newborn while delivering supper to a pair of Linne’s two-toed sloths.
Keepers are already thinking names for the infant, and its gender will be established in the next weeks, after which its details will be formally registered on the global ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System) database, which is an online record of their health, care, and wellbeing.
“We are so happy to announce the safe arrival of a young sloth to Flo and Reggie,” said Richard Brown, curator of Dudley Zoo and Castle. With all of our new arrivals in recent months, this year is shaping up to be a year of firsts for Dudley Zoo and Castle, as this is our first baby sloth in our 85-year existence.
“We know the news will excite our guests as much as it does our team, as we are well aware that our pair of sloths are our most popular animals on site.” The baby appears healthy and awake as it snuggles up to mum, who is doing fantastically and enjoying first-time parenting, while dad, Reggie, watches on proudly!”
In August 2020, three-year-old mother Flo will join six-year-old male Reggie at Dudley Zoo and Castle as part of a European studbook breeding scheme. Keepers began to suspect Flo was pregnant in the latter few months.
“Unlike other species, it was difficult to tell if Flo was pregnant,” Richard continued. Gestation generally lasts six months, but keepers began to sense movements in Flo’s tummy in recent weeks, and we were able to confirm the pregnancy with a faecal sample.
“It was a wonderful surprise for staff to discover the baby, especially as Flo was not displaying signs of being in labor during the day.”
The arboreal species is native to the tropical woods of northern Southern America and is rated as least concert on the IUCN red list. However, their numbers are declining since they are not only losing habitat, but they are also vulnerable to predators.
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