Posts Tagged 'aquarium babies'

It’s a … SLOTH! Meet the Rain Forest’s Newest Addition!

We’re are excited to announce the birth of Scout, our newest Linne’s two-toed sloth!

national aquarium baby sloth announcement

The newest arrival to our Upland Tropical Rain Forest is the second baby born to Ivy, one of the five sloths in the exhibit. Scout is the fourth sloth born at the National Aquarium!

To celebrate the birth of Scout, we have set up a baby registry at aqua.org/babysloth. Here, fans of Scout can make a donation to help purchase such items as vegetables and fruit, micro-chipping and the baby’s monthly checkup – items that are essential to the care and survival of Scout!

“Our team is thrilled to welcome another baby sloth to our Rain Forest habitat,” said Ken Howell, Curator of the Upland Tropical Rain Forest. “It is an honor to work with these incredible animals and inspire our guests to learn more about the ways they can protect them.”

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection here at the Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007. Howie and Xeno were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively. And most recently, Camden, was born at National Aquarium in 2012.

national aquarium baby sloth scout

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

To give Ivy and her baby proper time to bond, our staff is closely observing mom and baby from a distance. This means we haven’t gathered the newborn’s weight and height measurements or been able to determine gender. Staff has estimated, based on records from other baby sloths its age, that Scout weighs approximately 450 grams and is approximately 30 cm long.

Stay tuned for more updates on baby Scout in the coming weeks! 

Raising Xeno

Last spring, one of our adult female sloths, Rose, unexpectedly passed away, leaving her 8-week-old baby orphaned. We were all saddened by the loss of Rose, and very worried that baby Xeno had lost his mother.

At the Aquarium, we typically respect the natural process of life by letting mothers care for their babies as much as possible. Because young sloths remain dependent on their mothers for food and comfort during their first year of life, our animal care staff knew that Xeno was going to need extra special care in order to grow into a successful adult sloth.

For the past several months, the Rain Forest staff and Animal Care team have come together to give little Xeno the best chance of survival, which meant round-the-clock care that included a special diet, daily veterinary checkups and even some coddling, because baby sloths physically cling to their mothers.

Words alone can’t describe how much love and care was put into helping Xeno grow! The video below shares our amazing story of raising Xeno:

Xeno is now 7 months old and is continuing to develop into a strong and healthy sloth. Our staff is no longer handling Xeno. He is currently living in a new enclosure in the Aquarium’s Rain Forest that will help introduce him to the environment. We are cautiously optimistic that he will soon join our other two-toed sloths as a permanent resident in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest!

The costs of food, medicine and a knowledgeable staff to care for more than 16,000 animals add up quickly. You can help us continue to provide the best-quality care for animals like Xeno. » Donate now

A baby boom in DC

A baby boom has hit our DC venue!  If you haven’t visited our gem in the Nation’s Capital, now is a great time to bring your kids to meet our kids. Let’s take a look at some of our adorable DC residents.  

Four young American alligators are currently residing in the Everglades National Park Exhibit.  These alligators are a little over a year old and just about a foot and half long. They will eventually grow to 10-14 feet. They are a part of the Aquarium’s head start program and will eventually be returned to their native habitat. They are being fed, conditioned, and grown to a size where they can remain viable and thrive when released back into their natural surroundings.

 

The Amazon River habitat is home to a two-year old polka dot stingray pup. Most stingrays are found in saltwater but this specie is one of several freshwater stingrays found in South America. When born, the pups are just 3-4 inches in diameter! He is now 10 inches big.

Two baby loggerhead sea turtles can be found swimming about the Grey’s Reef exhibit. As hatchlings they are typically about 2 inches long and weigh less than an ounce.  These young turtles are 3 months old and about six inches long. They are also a part of our head start program that is helping to rebuild sea turtle populations, and will be released back to the ocean in about 2 years. Adult loggerheads can reach 500 lbs! 

There are also plenty of young fish swimming about the Aquarium exhibits. The Atlantic Patch Reef is home to a variety of interesting babies like the foureye butterflyfish, the trunkfish, and the scrawled cowfish pictured below. He is just over an inch but will grow to 15 inches as an adult.

As you can see, the National Aquarium, DC is booming with young life. Which baby is your favorite?


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