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Baby sloth greets holiday visitors at National Aquarium

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Arriving just in time for the holidays and New Year, Baltimore welcomes a Linnie’s two-toed sloth named Scout, the newest addition to National Aquarium’s Upland Tropical Rain Forest display. Born on November 17, 2013, the baby sloth is the fourth sloth to be born at the aquarium since the original pair, Syd and Ivy, arrived back in 2007.

The baby sloth has already begun eating solid foods, which occurs just a few weeks after birth, but will cling to his mother for up to one year of age. Until then, the pair will sleep together for 15 – 20 hours each day curled up in the trees. The remaining hours are spent foraging at night for leaves, fruits, and other vegetables to eat. Once Scout reaches maturity, he will be about the size of a small dog ranging from 12 – 20 pounds and 24 – 30 inches in height.

National Aquarium is presently home to six sloths, which serve as an important part of the rain forest animal collection. Scout’s older sibling, Camden, was also born in Baltimore in 2012. Their presence reinforces to visitors the importance of preserving these unique animals and educates visitors to the many travails they face in nature.

Typically found in northern South America, this sloth species is currently not endangered although threats of habitat loss and deforestation continue to pose threats to the welfare of these animals. When sloths have to travel by ground to access food on other trees, they more easily fall prey to dogs, jaguars, and even humans.

The aquarium encourages visitors to plan on spending some extra time in the rain forest exhibit to ask questions about the newborn while viewing Scout clinging to his mother, Ivy. You can also visit aqua.org/babysloth to learn more about Scout and sloths in general.

In addition, the aquarium is accepting donations to welcome Scout to the family. The sloth’s “Baby Registry” includes necessities such as food, veterinary care, bottles and emergency kit supplies, which can be purchased for $20 to $100 by visiting their website. (Note: Item donations cannot be accepted.)

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