Life of leisure for baby sloth at LP Zoo

March 2, 2011 4:26:37 AM PST
At Lincoln Park Zoo, visitors are hurrying over to see the new baby sloth and then waiting to see if the little creature moves.

The yet-to-be-named sloth was born two weeks ago at Lincoln Park Zoo's Small Mammal House. Keepers didn't even know that the mom, Chewbacca, was pregnant. But maybe this slow-moving creature just didn't get around to telling anyone. And yes that is the new baby just hanging with mom. But despite the baby's slooow speed, zookeeper said the critter is up to speed.

"The birth went well. . . the kid is nursing. Looks real healthy and mom is carrying the kid very well," Dan Boehm, manager, small mammals and reptiles.

Chewbacca is 20 years old, which is old for a first time mom. But despite that she knows exactly what to do and so does her new baby, who eats, sleeps and clings to her fur.

"Gestation is about eleven months and the kid will be with mom ... carried directly on mom for about six to nine months," Boehm said.

Do you remember the seven deadly sins? Lust, gluttony, greed, wrath, envy, pride ... and sloth.. But it's not so bad being a sloth if you're really a sloth.

"It's good for a sloth to be a sloth. They spend all their life the trees and treetops and tree canopy. They don't have to typically get from one place to another in a quick fashion," Boehm said.

So for mom and baby it's a life of leisure. Eat lots of greens and sleep lots of hours.

"At least sixteen hours a day if not more," Boehm said.

The little baby will live at Lincoln Park for another year or so before moving on to another zoo. But ... there's no hurry.