There’s a new resident hanging out at Zoo Atlanta.
Bonnie, an 8-year-old Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, recently gave birth to a healthy baby. The newborn, who has not been named, is her second child with 25-year-old male Cocoa.
The new arrival is currently bonding with mom, keeping a tight grip on her belly to get around.
“We’re delighted about the birth of Bonnie’s infant and are looking forward to sharing more about its growth and development,” Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, Vice President of Zoo Atlanta Collections and Conservation, said in a statement. “Animal adaptations make up some of the most fascinating educational facts we have to share with our guests. This is especially true of the sloth, an animal about which so much is unusual compared with other mammals”
One of the many things that sets sloths apart from other mammals is the creatures’ slow pace but rapid development. After an 11- to 12-month gestation period, sloths are born with their eyes open, a full mouth of teeth, fully grown claws and all their fur. Two weeks after being born, baby sloths start eating solid food. Young sloths wait about one year before leaving their moms and living life in the slow lane solo.
Bonnie, Cocoa and the new baby sloth share an enclosure, though the zoo staff says dad will not be part of the official family, as male sloths play no role in the rearing of their offspring.
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