What’s hanging? A lot, if you ask the staff at the Virginia Zoo, who recently welcomed their latest addition – their first-ever baby sloth. The adorable creature was born last Wednesday to two proud parents and long-time residents, Marvin and Honey. According to the zoo’s veterinarian, Colleen Clabbers, two-toed sloths are born with a full coat, nails, teeth, and eyes wide open.In an official announcement on the Virginia Zoo website Clabbers updated the public on the baby’s condition: “The infant is doing really well, nursing from mom and eating small bites of cooked veggies from its mom and the keepers.”
The unnamed baby sloth is being looked after from a distance by the zookeepers, who retain a ‘hands-off’ approach, as the seasoned vet explained: “From birth, sloth babies learn to hang onto mom’s chest or stomach and will stay out of view to avoid detection from predators,” Clabbers then added, “For this reason, and to not disturb the bond between mom and baby, we stay hands-off with the infant unless we have concerns.”
Lately, as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, the zoo was forced to close its doors to the public and rely on emergency operating funds to support its operations. Luckily though, no animal at the zoo will starve thanks to the creative fundraising method they’ve found.
The Virginia Zoo is holding a naming auction for the adorable baby sloth – meaning that the highest bidder gets the rights to name the adorable creature. Since the zookeepers keep a strictly hands-off approach, the sex of the baby is still unknown so the names must be gender-neutral. Additionally, out of respect and sensitivity to all the lives lost from COVID-19, any pandemic-related name is also out of the question.
Think that you know the perfect name for the charming baby? Feel free to suggest it by bidding on the Virginia Zoo auction site. Participants are welcome to bid until April 21st and the winning name will be announced by April 27th.
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