BALTIMORE (WJZ)– One of four Linnie’s two-toed sloths at the National Aquarium has given birth to her first baby.
Staff at the aquarium noticed Ivy carrying a newborn during a routine checkup in late August. The healthy baby was born with hair and claws, typical for the species.
The aquarium says the baby will cling to its mother for the first few weeks of life and be dependent on Ivy for up to one year. The baby will begin exploring its surroundings and eating solid foods over time.
Linnie’s two-toed sloths are found in the rain forests of South America and spend their lives in the trees. The nocturnal mammals are the size of a small dog, about 24-30 inches in length and weigh 12-20 lbs.
“Despite the fact that the two-toed sloth is a fairly common animal, many of its most basic behaviors are still a mystery because they are rarely observed,” commented Ken Howell, curator of rain forest exhibits at the National Aquarium. “We’re thrilled to welcome the new baby to our family and we hope that it will increase awareness and interest in this group of most unusual mammals.”
Ivy and Syd, two of the oldest sloths, were acquired from a private captive breeder in South Florida in May 2007. The other two– Howie and Xeno– were born at the aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.
Ivy and her baby will be in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. You can view more pictures of the mother and baby sloth by clicking here.