Monday 22 January 2018

Zoo says finding out if new baby sloth is boy or girl will be slow process

A Hoffman's two-toed baby sloth is prepared for its first public appearance at the Hattiesburg Zoo (Paige Crane/Hattiesburg Zoo Public Relations/AP)
A Hoffman's two-toed baby sloth is prepared for its first public appearance at the Hattiesburg Zoo (Paige Crane/Hattiesburg Zoo Public Relations/AP)

A baby sloth has made its first appearance at a US zoo but a DNA test is needed to learn whether it is a boy or a girl.

Stephen Taylor, mammal curator at Hattiesburg Zoo in Mississippi, said they will have to send a sample of fur to a lab to learn the gender of the Hoffman's two-toed sloth born to Mo and Chewy, as sloths' sex organs are internal.

Mo, hanging upside-down with the baby resting on her tummy, was on public view on Friday for the first time since giving birth on February 5.

Although born fully furred, eyes open and clawed, with teeth, the baby will typically remain dependent on its mother for about a year.

The first days after birth are delicate for any animal, and Mr Taylor said this baby did not start suckling on its own.

He said that after about half a day, zookeepers began feeding it puppy milk replacement from a syringe fitted with a nipple instead of a needle.

AP

Press Association

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