Meet the National Aviary’s newest member of the flock, a baby Two-toed Sloth!
Our baby sloth, Valentino, will be featured in the window of the Avian Care Center at the National Aviary through January 2, 2017. He comes out once a day for a public feeding at noon, and during that time visitors can also watch him climb on his new, custom built perch!
Get to know our baby sloth:
- What kind of sloth is he?
The National Aviary’s baby sloth is a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth.
His name is Valentino!
Named by an anonymous donor, this generous individual gave the baby sloth this name because he arrived at the National Aviary just in time for Valentine’s Day.
It is the generosity of donors who support and believe in the National Aviary’s mission that allow us the opportunity to continually soar to new heights in providing quality education, avian medicine, and conservation programs both locally and internationally.
- When was he born? And where is his mom?
He was born on October 31, 2015 and is just over 3 months old. Young sloths cease nursing at about a month old; at this point they eat solid food on their own and start venturing away from their mothers. While he might seem young, he is the perfect age to start getting to know his new National Aviary family and training for his role as an animal ambassador!
- How big is the baby sloth?
During summer 2016, Valentino measured 10 inches long, and weighed approximately two pounds. At birth he was approximately 6-7 inches in length. When full grown, he will weigh between 15 and 20 pounds.
- Why have you added a sloth to your collection? Isn’t the National Aviary a place for birds?
The National Aviary is currently home to another adult male sloth, Wookiee, as well as our Malayan Flying Foxes, a species of fruit bat.
The National Aviary features birds from around the world but also other animals that share their ecosystems. Given their arboreal lifestyle, sloths are the perfect addition to our collection.
This baby sloth is an ambassador for its species and the birds that live in the forests of Central and South America, areas that are experiencing habitat destruction as a result of human population growth.
Presenting him to our visitors and in our programs enables us to highlight the importance of biodiversity and the need to protect those rapidly disappearing habitats that are home to both birds and mammals.
Wookiee, the original National Aviary Two-toed Sloth is still hanging out in our Cloud Forest exhibit.
The baby sloth will not be joining Wookie in the Cloud Forest. He will have his own space to grow and prepare for his role as an animal ambassador.
The animal trainers will begin by teaching him how to interact with people early on. All training is done with positive enrichment and reinforcement. Animals only do what they choose to do for positive treats and interactions.
National Aviary Hospital staff will conduct regular pediatric assessments to ensure he is healthy and happy. He will have physical examinations and basic health tests. We will check his appetite and make sure he is digesting his food well, and will weigh him daily and monitor his growth.
- Will the baby sloth be part of an interactive encounter?
Beginning March 25, the baby sloth will start participating in encounters. To book your encounter in advance for your chance to meet the baby sloth up-close, call 412-258-9445.
Help welcome our baby sloth, the newest arrival to the National Aviary flock! Your Baby Shower gift in any amount will help cover the cost of all the needed care items for our new baby sloth. Make a donation now through March 25 and it will be directed to our education and veterinary departments, which provide dedicated care for this new arrival in addition to many other birds and animals who call the National Aviary home.