New at the zoo: sloth baby hanging onto our hearts

New at the zoo: sloth baby hanging onto our hearts

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- There's a new baby hanging around at the Potawatomi Zoo (literally).

A new Linne's two-toed sloth baby was born at the zoo on May 9. The gender of the baby isn't known yet, but it is healthy. Zoo veterinarian Audrey Siegrist, D.V.M., weighed the baby in at just 0.64 kg (not quite 1.5 pounds).

Baby sloth's weight check Potawatomi Zoo staff

This baby is the zoo's fourth sloth. Lola, the baby's father, is the longest sloth resident. He has been at the zoo since August 2017.

Lily, the baby's mother, has been in South Bend since March 2021.

Lily already has another daughter named Tofu. She moved to the zoo with her mom in March 2021.

You can find the baby sloth (and its parents) inside of the Learning Center at the zoo, which is open to the public. Keep in mind that, just like most sloths, the baby will spend most of its time sleeping.

Baby sloth hanging onto its mom, Lily Potawatomi Zoo staff

The zoo's executive director Josh Sisk is excited about the successful birth, which is the first to happen at the zoo in recent years.

"We're so thrilled about this baby," he said. "It's a significant birth for the sustainability of this species."

Potawatomi Zoo staff

This specific sloth species is from the Amazon River basin in South America. In the rainforest, they spend most of their nocturnal lives hanging in and crawling through trees, which is where their two toes come in handy.

The species is not endangered, but like many animals, face habitat loss because of deforestation.

To see a sloth baby, now you don't have to trek to South America, just South Bend. The zoo's hours this summer are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and the season lasts until October 31.


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