International Sloth Day 2018

Posted October 18, 2018 by Sarah Dapper

International Sloth Day is Saturday, October 20th! Many are familiar with our two-toed sloth Moe, and visit him year-round at his home in the Discovery Forest.

Unfortunately, guests will have to wait until late winter or early spring to see our slow-moving guy.  But for a good reason – Moe is getting a new home!  Moe will be getting a new & improved habitat for him to climb, sleep and hang out in. In the meantime, he will be hanging around behind the scenes with his care team.

More than 450 guests were able to meet & be inspired by Moe through Behind the Scenes tours in 2018. Even more impressive – that means those guests directly helped save sloths in Costa Rica! Through their support, the Cincinnati Zoo sent our largest contribution yet to The Sloth Institute(TSI) Costa Rica. A portion of proceeds from the ‘Moe’mentous Sloth Encounter tour benefits TSI and their mission to increase peaceful coexistence between wildlife and Costa Rican communities. Even though sloth encounters are sold out for the 2018 season, you can be added to the notification list for the 2019 tour season by emailing [email protected].

Increasing tourism and development comes with some challenges to sloths in Costa Rica. While it is great that people are excited to travel and experience the natural world, the large influx of eager travelers into animals’ habitats can take a toll on them if not managed properly.

For example, with development come roads that divide the forest. Sloths often travel along electrical wires to cross roads, making them vulnerable to electrocution.  TSI works with officials to keep trees cut back away from the wires.  However, it isn’t possible to keep all trees trimmed year-round in a rainforest.  Sloths often have to be rescued and relocated after climbing onto those telephone wires. Click here to learn more about what TSI does for sloths in Costa Rica.

Moe is a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). In early 2019 we should know if he will be recommended to breed. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Moe is matched up with a lady sloth. 😊

Baby two-toed sloths. (Photo: Maura Messerly)

Fun Facts

  • It takes a sloth 2-3 weeks to digest each meal.
  • A sloth only goes to the bathroom once a week & can lose up to 20% of their body weight with one bathroom break!
  • In addition to algae, the sloth’s fur is home to a variety of moths, ticks, beetles, and other small creatures.
  • Sloths sleep up to 15 hours a day to conserve energy.
  • Organs such as the heart, liver, and spleen are placed differently in sloths than in other mammals to accommodate their upside-down lifestyle.

Say Hello to Moe every time I come for a meeting!

Follow the Cincinnati Zoo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates on Moe and his new habitat!