Staff at Paignton Zoo are ‘hanging out’ with a much-anticipated new arrival – a sloth called Mo.
The new arrival, a 3-year-old Linne’s two toed sloth, was born at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium before moving to Edinburgh Zoo in December 2020. He recently made the 467 mile trip south from Scotland to Devon where he will spend the next couple of weeks taking it slow and steady while he settles in.
These tree-dwelling creatures are famous for their laid-back lifestyle, spending almost all of their time in the trees, even feeding, sleeping and giving birth at height. In fact, they only come down to the ground to go to the toilet or move to a new tree. The curved claws of a sloth allow them to hang safely from branches without using too much energy. This is just as well as their leaf based diet and extremely slow digestion (it takes around 2 weeks for a sloth to digest a meal) means that they don’t have the energy to do anything at speed.
Mo (short for Moana) will spend his first few weeks hanging out in an off-show area at the back of his home in the zoo’s Tropical Trails exhibit before he makes his way out into the main enclosure. The new sloth exhibit at Paignton Zoo provides plenty of branching for Mo to explore, with tropical plants and high humidity levels replicating the conditions of the South American rainforest.
Eagle-eyed visitors may notice that even though Mo is a two-toed sloth, he actually has three toes on his feet. They’re not seeing things however – it’s actually the number of digits on a sloths hands that give them the name two-toed!
Paignton Zoo’s keeper team are particularly excited to welcome this new addition. Interim Curator of Mammals Owen Taylor commented:
“New arrivals are always cause for celebration and we’re really happy to be welcoming a sloth to Paignton Zoo. We’re sure our visitors will be just as excited as we are and look forward to introducing Mo to everyone soon.”
You can sponsor Mo the sloth at Paignton Zoo by clicking here.