The pregnant female sloth hugs her baby sloth toy and prepares for motherhood

The Cincinnati Zoo is one of the largest in the United States. Different animals live here and many nature conservation programs are being implemented.

Over the past few years, the zoo has partnered with The Sloth Institute Of Costa Rica.

There are several two-toed sloths in the care of the zoo: these animals are now considered safe species, but in the wild, they face many threats.

The pregnant female sloth hugs her baby sloth toy and prepares for motherhood

In February 2021, the zoo announced a joyous event: an eight-year-old female named Lightning became pregnant. Her partner is Moe, a 21-year-old sloth. He was born in the wild and quickly became orphaned.

He has been living in Cincinnati since 2006, but so far he hasn’t been able to match. Lightning arrived at the zoo in 2019 on the recommendations of specialists: the genetic match of the couple turned out to be perfect.

Moe’s contribution to species diversity is particularly valuable as he is a rare member of the wild sloth population. Most of the animals that can be seen in zoos have already been born in captivity.

The pregnant female sloth hugs her baby sloth toy and prepares for motherhood

Sloths eat, sleep, mate and even give birth in a suspended position. When born, the baby will grab the mother’s fur, crawl to the breast and feed exclusively on milk for ten days.

Then he will begin to taste solid food, but for about a month he will continue to cling to the shaggy belly of the female and wash down the food with milk.

On its own, it will first hang on a branch at the age of about 25 days.

The pregnant female sloth hugs her baby sloth toy and prepares for motherhood

In order for Lightning to prepare for future motherhood, she was given a soft toy – of course, also a sloth. She already hugs her like her own cub.

Sometimes the caretakers take the “baby” away and return it back: they will do the same with the baby for medical examinations, and Lightning must get used to the short separation from the baby right now.

Sloths have a gestation period of up to 10 months and the zoo expects to be replenished in October. See what a newborn sloth looks like.

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The pregnant female sloth hugs her baby sloth toy and prepares for motherhood
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