Animals

Surprise! Zoo Welcomes Unexpected Baby Sloth

The pictures are so cute!

A new baby is always a cause for celebration, whether it’s a human baby or one from the animal kingdom.

On Nov. 17, caretakers at the Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels, Texas, got a super-cute surprise in the form of a newborn baby sloth. The staff was unaware that the baby’s mom, Sylvia, was expecting until she gave birth.

Hidden Pregnancy

In a press release from the zoo, it was explained that because of the sloth’s sedentary lifestyle as well as their thick, wiry fur, it can be extremely difficult to notice the signs of pregnancy.

Of course, everyone was delighted with the unexpected addition to the zoo.

“This birth illustrates a massive success in providing the right environment for healthy life in captivity while encouraging natural reproductive behavior,” states the zoo’s press release.

The zoo is also home to all sorts of other creatures, including camels…

zebras…

lions…

And of course plenty of the snakes that are prominently featured in the zoo’s name!

Naming Contest

The zoo is holding a naming contest for the baby sloth, whose gender has not been announced. If you’d like to enter, all you need to do is comment with your name choice on the Facebook post below.

The commenter who receives the most likes will get a 4-pack of admission tickets to the zoo. The winner will be announced on Dec. 22.

The as yet-unnamed baby is probably just beginning to try solid foods now, as mother sloths typically nurse their babies for about one month.

What’s In Store For The Baby Sloth

Even after they are eating on their own, babies stay tightly wrapped against their mother from anywhere from six months to two years. Although the baby just has to focus on growing big and strong for now, eventually it will become an animal ambassador for its species at the zoo, which means it will take part in educational opportunities and become part of a future breeding program.

Check out this video of the little guy (or girl!) in action (or rather, inaction!) with its mother:

Too cute! We can’t wait to hear the name when it’s finally chosen!

[h/t People]