Birthday of the Sloth Twins

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Loro Parque celebrates the first birthday of the two-toed sloth twins born in 2010 and which was a unique event, because there is no other case like this known in any other zoo worldwide. It is not a specie that usually have twins. Therefore, this double birth has become a case of international interest for biologists and veterinarians that, throughout this year have visited Loro Parque to observe the development and evolution of the offspring, one smaller than the other.

The mammals Luca and Chuca, born in August 2010 in the tropical ecosystem that Loro Parque has specially designed as an exhibition for these species and the smaller one would have perished if he do not have received permanent cares of the veterinarian and keepers team, who during this time has become their foster parents and raised him up by hand. A year later, both babies grow healthy and while one was in charge of his biological mother, the smallest and raised under human care is in the period of socialization and adaptation to their natural environment, spending several hours per day with his family and a group of more than 15 marmosets monkeys, green iguanas and 2 pairs of red-footed tortoises, living in the same exhibition.

The Two-toed sloth (Cholopoepues didactylus) has a quiet nature, is show in its movements, and is characterized by its small , round and flan-topped head. It is also an example that survival not only depends on force and speed, because it survived its huge relatives who became extinct 10.000 years ago. The lenght is between 41 and 74 centimeters and the body is covered with long, tic and brown hair. They spend most of their time hanging on trees, always with the back to the ground.

The parents, who can live more than 20 years, come from an exhibition in the province of Pavia in Italy and feel very comfortable in the climate of Tenerife, as the island shares lots of similitarities with the tropical forests of South America. This species is native to countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Suriname and Peru. While the adults in captivity eat leaves, fruits and seasonal vegetables, and grain, and drink water, the young need milk, which they eat several times a day during 6 to 15 minutes feeding sessions.

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