Zoo announces birth of baby sloth: ‘We are beyond excited’

Lightning, a two-toed sloth at the Cincinnati Zoo, gave birth on Wednesday. (Source: Cincinnati Zoo)
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX/Gray News) - A zoo in Ohio has a very cute new addition to its animal family.

Lightning, a two-toed sloth at the Cincinnati Zoo, became a new mom earlier this week.

“This is the first sloth baby that our team has cared for,” said Julie Grove, a manager at the zoo. “We are beyond excited that the baby is finally here!”

The animal care team said the baby is healthy, strong and bonding with its mother.

“We’re ready to provide support to Lightning as she navigates being a mom,” Grove said.

Mom and baby are expected to stay close for the next 10-12 months.

In 2021, Lightning gave birth to a stillborn, so the team said they are continuing to monitor the newborn and mother.

“We are monitoring closely but remaining hands off for the most part,” Grove said. “Lightning’s maternal instincts are kicking in. We’re seeing all the behaviors that we want to see!”

Zoo officials said they do not know the sex of the baby just yet, and it may be some time before that is determined.

According to the team, it can be difficult to identify the gender of a sloth and DNA testing might be required.

Baby names are also being discussed and the team said they will be making a selection next week.