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Vote to name the infant sloth at Zoo Atlanta

WHO:
The 4-month-old infant Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth at Zoo Atlanta needs a name, and members of the public are invited to cast their votes. Online voting opened on Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

WHAT:
Members of the Zoo’s Sloth Team have chosen a total of six names to suit the youngest animal in their care, three for a male and three for a female. Tune in at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, on Zoo Atlanta Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the announcement of the infant’s sex and name.

Vote online here. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 10.

While sloths are famous for their slow movements, sloth development moves at a notably more rapid pace than the infancies of most other mammals. Following a lengthy gestation period of 11 to 12 months, newborn sloths are born fully-furred and with their eyes open and teeth already present, along with fully-developed claws for clinging to their mothers. Infants begin trying solid foods within two weeks of birth. They may continue to remain with or near their mothers for around a year.

Native to Central and South America, Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths are not currently classified as endangered, but wild populations face threats as a result of habitat destruction, human encroachment and the pet trade. Lynn Yakubinis, a Lead Keeper at Zoo Atlanta, chairs the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths and Linne’s two-toed sloths. Zoo Atlanta is an active member of many SSP programs, which exist to protect the long-term viability of animal populations housed in accredited North American zoos by working to ensure that zoological populations remain healthy, genetically diverse and self-sustaining for future generations.

The infant, mother Bonnie and another adult female, Okra Mae, are currently behind the scenes; stay tuned for updates on when Members and guests will be able to see the infant. The infant’s father, Cocoa, may be seen in the Zoo’s Brazilian Outpost area.

Visit zooatlanta.org for more on animals, programs and conservation efforts at Zoo Atlanta.

WHEN:                   
Online voting is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 10, 2019.   

WHERE:                  
Zoo Atlanta 
800 Cherokee Avenue, S.E.
Atlanta, GA  30315

CONTACT:         
Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office 
404.309.2238 – cell
rdavis@zooatlanta.org

Gavin Johnson, Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office 
gjohnson@zooatlanta.org

ABOUT:                
About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Zoo highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, a set of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. The Zoo’s newest experience, Treetop Trail presented by Kaiser Permanente, opened in March 2017. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, African lions, Aldabra giant tortoises and giant pandas. Zoo Atlanta is open year-round with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl