The National Aquarium announced today the birth of Fern, a Linne’s two-toed sloth born on April 25th. The baby sloth is the newest addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest and the sixth sloth born at the National Aquarium.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Fern to the Rain Forest exhibit!” said Ken Howell, National Aquarium Curator of Rain Forest exhibits, “Baby Fern and her mother, Ivy, will continue to rest in an area behind the scenes of our exhibit, while our team monitors the health of baby and mom closely.”
Fern is Ivy’s fourth baby. Ivy came to the exhibit in 2007 and has also given birth to Felize in 2015, Scout in 2013 and Camden in 2012.
Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives among the treetops. With two claws on their front feet and three on the back, Linne’s two-toed sloths are perfectly designed for an arboreal life. In fact, sloths even mate and give birth while hanging upside-down!
Linne’s two-toed sloths are currently not threatened, however, other species of sloth such as the maned three-toed sloth and pygmy three-toed sloth are endangered. The sloths at the National Aquarium help to inform people of the plight of all sloths from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation of forests, as well as to inspire conservation, protection and welfare of these and other animals. Forest fragmentation forces sloths to come to the ground to travel to additional food trees. On the ground, they become easy prey for dogs and humans. Additionally, many sloths are either killed or injured when trying to cross roadways, others are electrocuted by overhead electrical lines.