The Zoo's newest member takes life slow

July 15, 2009 3:16:12 PM PDT
If you are fed up with the hustle-and-bustle of daily life, the Philadelphia Zoo says it has a creature you might want to meet. If you like to sit on the couch, guzzle beer, eat snacks, and watch TV all day, you have a lot in common with the zoo's newest resident. A two-toed sloth was born at the Philadelphia Zoo about a month ago and it was a complete shocker to everyone.

Chris Bartos from the Philadelphia Zoo says, "We really thought they were post-reproductive. We didn't think they were going to have any offspring and we came in one morning and there it was. It was totally unexpected but a delightful surprise."

The baby sloth's parents are quite old - his dad, Argyle, is the equivalent of an 80-year-old man. In fact, he and mom, Charlotte, may be the oldest pair to ever give birth in the history of sloths in captivity.

No surprise that they took their time in choosing to have one more child.

Bartos says, "They take life a lot slower than we do. And maybe we can take some lessons from the sloth."

In the world of the two-toed sloth, upside-down is right side up. In fact, if you put a sloth on the ground it wouldn't be able to walk and probably would just fall down. Slowly.

Sloths expend very little energy while hanging. Their body temperature is 10 degrees lower than humans. Even simple bodily functions can take several days, to commence.

"They do come down once a week, more or less, to go to the bathroom. And they have to come down the tree to go and then they go back up. So, imagine going just once a week."

The Zoo is also showing off its new Douc Langur, a primate from Southeast Asia. Toi joins two other Douc Langurs already at the Rare Animal Conservation Center.

It is the only place you can see this species in North America.


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