MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Brevard Zoo announced on Thursday that on October 17th, they welcomed their first baby sloth in.
The two-toed sloth Tango gave birth to the unnamed newborn, who is the first sloth born at the zoo and will be hand-raised.
“When we found the baby away from Tango, we tried to reunite them,” said Lauren Hinson, a curator of animals at the Zoo. “But the new mother was not nursing, nor did she show interest in the newborn. Tango is a first-time mother whose inexperience likely led her to not care for the little one.”
Hinson reportedly stepped in to provide round-the-clock care for the sloth, who is fed goat's milk every two and a half hours. Newborn sloths are inclined to cling onto their mother, so animal care staff gave the baby its choice of materials to hold onto. Ironically, the baby sloth chose a sloth blanket from the Zoo's gift shop. Hinson will provide substantial care for at least five months, after which the weaning process will begin.
The zoo says that the baby sloth wighed 11.2 ounces at birth. The newborn's sex is unknown at the time as laboratory testing is sometimes need to determine the sex of sloths. The length of the species' gestation is not exactly known, but it likely sits between six and 12 months.