First, they teased us. They just said “an animal” at the zoo was expecting with a mysterious ultrasound image. Now, we know.
The Denver Zoo will be welcoming a baby sloth. In sloth-fashion, the birth could happen anytime between now and March.
But, how did the sparks start flying?
Charlotte and Elliot, the sloth couple, met on a dating site -of sorts. S-S-P or Species Survival Plan, matches animals that would be genetically diverse and fit for each other, explained Denver Zoo spokesperson Marina Belisle.
Essentially, two zoos put them together.
Charlotte came from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2015. Elliot was already in Denver waiting for his happily ever after.
Since the announcement, there’s been a lot of questions about sloths.
Let us turn to two different experts on the topic, empowered 5-year-old Nora Dampier and Denver Zoo spokesperson Marina Belisle.
QUESTION: Do you think it’s going to be a boy or a girl?
- Nora: twins, a boy and a girl.
- Marina: we will not know the gender of the baby right away or when it’s born either. Sloths, she says, will cling to their mother 4-6 months before coming off. They won’t get a closer look until then.
QUESTION: How is a sloth’s labor?
- Nora: through the vagina.
- Marina: she says there’s not a lot of research on sloth labor and delivery. “We’re not exactly sure of how long it could be,” she said, “there are reports of it being an hour but it could be much longer so we’re going to find out!”
When Charlotte does give birth, the Denver Zoo will close off the room for a few days. To give them a little space to get acclimated to their new life as a family.
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