Cincinnati Zoo Is the Proud Home of a New Baby Sloth

We welcome the birth of any animal with open arms. That is especially true when it is an animal as adorable as a baby sloth.

For 24 hours, Lightning was being watched very carefully at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Just to be clear, we are not talking about Lightning like a storm; we are talking about a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth.

Picture: Photo: Pixabay / MonicaVolpin

Lightning has been a part of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden since 2019. When it was found out that she was pregnant and would give birth to a pup, it was an exciting time for everyone.

That pup was born on June 7, and, according to zookeepers, the little one is strong and healthy. Like humans, the baby sloth begins bonding with its mother immediately, but it will continue to bond over the coming days.

There are two things that are not yet known about this new arrival. First of all, they don’t know the sex of the baby sloth and will likely use a DNA testing to verify. They also haven’t named the little one yet.

While Lightning and the new pup bond in the background, they won’t be publicly viewable for quite some time. That didn’t stop the zoo from announcing the birth on Twitter:

In 2021, Lightning gave birth to a stillborn pup. It would be another few years before she finally gave birth to the live pup on June 7.

According to Cincinnati Zoo’s manager of ambassador animals, Julie Grove, it is the first baby sloth the team has cared for.

She said: “We are beyond excited that the baby is finally here! We’re ready to provide support to Lightning as she navigates being a mom.”

We can look forward to a number of firsts for the yet-unnamed baby sloth. When it is about 10 days old, it will begin sampling foods. It will still continue to nurse from Lightning for approximately one month.

Screenshot: Twitter / @CincinnatiZoo

Lightning will continue to give the pup a ride on her belly, but after the baby is done nursing and is eating solid food, the little one will eat whatever is available.

If you would like to see the little sloth hanging upside down, you can expect that to happen when it is anywhere from 20 to 25 days old.

The pup’s father, Moe, was introduced to Lightning in 2019, but they really didn’t get close until 2020. He now lives at the P&G Discovery Forest in the zoo’s education center.

They live separately at this time, because Moe was moved to another area when Lightning started getting cranky during pregnancy.

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