Vote to name the infant sloth at Zoo Atlanta
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.
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. 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.