Fota Wildlife Park in Cork announces birth of its first ever baby sloth

Fota Wildlife Park in Cork announces birth of its first ever baby sloth

FOTA WILDLIFE Park in Cork has today announced the birth of the first-ever sloth to be born in the park.

The baby Linné’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), whose gender is still unknown, was born on 30 April to mother Talyta and father Matheo after a gestation of six months. The public can now view the baby sloth in the Tropical House, which recently reopened to the public after closure due to the pandemic.

Matheo, who is four and a half years old, was transferred from Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany, to Fota Wildlife Park in 2019. Mother Talyta, who is three years old, came from Papiliorama Swiss Tropical Gardens to Fota Wildlife Park in November 2020.

Lead Ranger, Julien Fonteneau said:

"Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to announce the birth of a baby sloth. Not only does the Wildlife Park have great success breeding the fastest land animal and the tallest land animal in the world, and now also with the world’s slowest moving animal, the sloth.

"Due to the nocturnal nature of the sloth, getting a glimpse of the baby can be elusive. Young sloths will cling to their mother’s belly for approximately five weeks until they have the strength to move on their own. The little one is already pulling at leaves and other foods we give to the adults, although not leaving the mother’s safety on its own yet."

Sloths are native to South America and eat, sleep, mate, and give birth from their upside-down position high among the branches. Sloths are the only mammals whose hair grows in the opposite direction from the hair of other mammals. To accommodate their upside-down lifestyle, the hair parts in the middle of the belly and grows upward towards the back. The hair on the face points upward, allowing water to run off during rainstorms.

Fota Wildlife Park is calling on the public to help name the baby sloth via this link to be in with a chance to win a conservation annual pass.