From the Curator: A baby in the Rain Forest!

From Ken Howell: Curator of Rain Forest exhibits

We are very excited to announce a new addition to our Upland Tropical  Rain Forest exhibit!

Earlier in September, during the daily check-up of our two-toed sloths, we found that Rose had given birth to an infant.  The infant, approximately 8 inches long at birth, was born fully haired and already has its trademark claws.  The baby sloth is actively clinging and crawling about on its mom, and looks strong and healthy. 

This birth of a baby sloth, the first for the Aquarium, was certainly a ‘hoped for’ event but wasn’t planned.  Despite the fact that the two-toed sloth is fairly common, many of its most basic life history facts are still a mystery.  The discrepancy is due to the fact that actual mating is rarely observed.

Female two-toed sloths give birth after a reported gestation period of 7-10 months (probably closer to 10 months). Within a week or so, the youngster will begin crawling about on the mother and as time goes on will begin exploring its immediate surroundings and begin eating solid foods.  The young sloth will remain very close to its mother for almost a year before becoming completely independent from her. 

Rose and her new infant are free roaming in the Rainforest, and while we cannot guarantee they will be visible during everyone’s visit, there is a good chance that one of our three adult sloths will be in a location that is easy to see. We hope that the birth of this baby will increase awareness and interest in this group of most unusual mammals.  Check back for updates!

11 Responses to “From the Curator: A baby in the Rain Forest!”

  1. 1 Helen September 23, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Oh, I can’t wait until the next time I’m in Baltimore!

  2. 2 Patrick ("PJ") September 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    God Bless Rose’s new baby – I will have to come welcome him/her soon!

  3. 3 Patricia September 24, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Awwwww 🙂 what’s the baby’s name?

  4. 4 Angela September 24, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    This is one of my favorite animals in the world, I can’t wait to come and hopefully see them. Congrats on saving one of the worlds most mysterious creatures.

  5. 5 Lee September 25, 2008 at 8:18 am

    How exciting!! A real reason to go back and visit sooner!!!

    My children and i visited the Baltimore Aquarium at the end of August 2008, we had an excellent time. There was so much to see it took us three hours to walk around, just to see everything you really get your moneys worth. They have done a greatjob on maintaining the place as well as taking care of the mammales and animales. I have not been their in 15 years since i was in school and i was very impressed with how well organized they where with the amount of people there. Please take the time to visit I regret not going sooner.


  6. 6 Sharky September 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Wow! The baby and Rose are both so cute.

  7. 7 sharon September 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    wow…what a celebration!! can’t wait to see the new addition…what’s the babies name???

  8. 8 sue September 27, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I was at the Aquarium in August and was able to visit the Rain Forest because it was not wheelchair accessable, however, I very much enjoyed the video on the baby sloth and cannot wait for an update on his/her progress. I do want to thank the Aquarium for how accessable the facility is and how friendly and courteous the staff were.

  9. 9 Dora September 29, 2008 at 12:17 am

    The baby sloth is cute, is it male or female? When will the baby sloth be named? I can’t wait for my next visit to the aquarium
    maybe I’ll get to spot the sloth in the Rain forest. That would
    be great. Dora

  10. 10 National Aquarium October 8, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    It is hard for the animal care staff in the rain forest to determine the sex of the baby at this time because they are not directly interacting with the animal. Through visual observations the staff is able to monitor the overall health of the baby, but Rose is raising the baby soley on her own.

    The baby will be named by the animal care staff soon – stay tuned!

  11. 11 Summer April 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Can I ask,what the baby sloth eat at the first month?

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