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Please note: On Wednesday April 24 at Franklin Park Zoo and Thursday, April 25 at Stone Zoo, volunteers, zoo employees and local emergency responders will take part in routine animal escape exercises. While the exercise is occurring, guests have the opportunity to participate in the evacuation portion, and may be asked to move to certain areas within the Zoo for a brief period of time (not to exceed 10 minutes). These exercises are an important part of our preparedness training, and we appreciate your participation and understanding. If you have any questions about what to expect, please don't hesitate to contact us at 617-989-2000 or info@zoonewengland.org.

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Stone Zoo celebrates the birth of a Linne’s two-toed sloth

The staff at Stone Zoo are thrilled to announce the newest furry face to the animal family – a Linne’s two-toed sloth.

The baby was born on Friday, March 3, and is the sixth offspring for parents Lunesta and Nero. The little one appears strong and healthy, and has been observed nursing from Lunesta.  The baby will be totally dependent on mom for the first few months.

“Lunesta is an experienced mom and knows how to care for her growing family,” said Pete Costello, Assistant Curator at Stone Zoo. “We’re excited for guests to watch the baby grow and settle in to the habitat. In the meantime, it will stay pretty closely attached to mom for a while.”

Zoo New England participates in the Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild. The birth is a result of a recommended breeding between Nero and Lunesta.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are furry mammals that live in trees and are found in the tropical forests of South America. They spend almost their whole lives dangling upside-down from branches that they hold on to with all four clawed feet. While these animals move really well through the branches, once they are on the ground, they are very slow and vulnerable to predators as they are not built for walking.

As the name “two-toed sloth” suggests, its front limbs have two toes. However, like all species of sloths, its rear limb has three toes. Sloths are also covered in two layers of thick hair. The outer layer can be about 6 inches long and provides a perfect, moist environment for the growth of many organisms. Their hair grows in the opposite direction of most mammals because sloths spend the majority of their lives upside-down.