STONEHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — There's a new face at Stone Zoo in Stoneham—a tiny, furry one.
A baby Linne's two-toed sloth was born June 27, and visitors can see it with its parents, Nero and Lunesta. The zoo said the baby's sex is not yet known, so it's too early to name.
Dayle Sullivan-Taylor, Senior Zookeeper at Zoo New England, said finding the baby Thursday morning was a surprise—but that's par for the course with sloths.
"You never know when they're gonna give birth or when they're even pregnant, because they're always upside-down, so it's hard to see any kind of belly," Sullivan-Taylor said. "We expected that there was a possibility she was pregnant just by her history—this is her fourth baby. Every morning when we go in and we check the animals, we go in and we just kind of check on top of her, and there it was!"
The birth is positive news for the species' conservation effort—the Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan, which the zoo takes part in.
It's also great news because the baby's father, Nero, was diagnosed and treated for leukemia when he first arrived at the zoo, and staff weren't sure if he would be able to reproduce after. Four babies later, he's proved beyond a doubt that he can.
Sloths can be found in rain forest areas of South America. They don't come down to the ground often, and can sleep up to 15 hours a day.
For the first month of its life, the baby will hold on to its mother tightly.
"When mom moves, you might be lucky enough to sneak a peek, and see the baby's face coming out from under her arm," Sullivan-Taylor said.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports