New addition to the sloth family

We are thrilled to welcome the newest addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest – a two-toed sloth born in late February.

While escorting a sleepover group through the Upland Tropical Rain Forest, a member of the Aquarium’s education team noticed the new addition. The next day it was confirmed that Rose, one of three adult sloths living in the exhibit, had given birth to her second infant. The newborn joins its older brother, Howie, who was the first sloth born at the National Aquarium in September 2008.

The new baby has been clinging to its mother, and aquarists suspect it will remain that way for several weeks. At this time the sex of the baby is undetermined. At birth it was approximately 8 inches long and fully haired with its trademark claws. As time goes on, the young sloth will begin exploring its immediate surroundings and eating solid foods. Sloths can remain dependent on their mothers for up to one year. Our animal care staff will respect the natural process and allow Rose to care for her baby.

Rose and her new infant are free roaming in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. While there are no guarantees that the animals will be visible during everyone’s visit, there is a good chance that at least one of the three adult sloths can be seen. Guests may also have the opportunity to meet Arthur, one of our male sloths, during an Animal Encounter presentation.

We were able to get a short video of Rose and baby when they were hanging out in a visible tree:


2 Responses to “New addition to the sloth family”

  1. 1 JoAn March 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Great news! How many sloths can the Aqarium’s rain forest support? At what point will they have to be given to other aquariums or zoos?

  2. 2 National Aquarium March 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

    We intend on managing the adult male and two adult females as part of our permanent collection in the Rain Forest. As young are born and begin to mature we monitor for any signs of negative behavior that might indicate the younger animals are ready to go to other institutions. At that point in time we will work with the AZA’s Sloth Population Management Program to identify appropriate new homes.

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