Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloth

ZOO LOCATION: Monkey Pavilion

Lifespan: 12 to 30 years

Wild Diet: Leaves, twigs, shoots, flowers and fruits

Zoo Diet: Fruit, greens, any green, leafy vegetable except iceberg lettuce

Predators: Ocelots, jaguars, harpy eagles and man.


IUCN Status: Least Concern

Habitat/Range: Tropical Rainforests of Central and South American from Nicaragua through Colombia and western Venezuela south to northeast Ecuador.

Characteristics: Sloths are usually light tan in color but can have long gray or brown hair that blends in well with their surrounding environment. This helps make it difficult for their predators (mainly jaguars) to see them. Their hair curves from their stomach to their back due to their hanging upside down most of the time. During the rainy season, their hair is covered with blue-green algae, which also provides them camouflage. They grow to a length of 2 to 2.5 ft. and can weigh up to 20 lbs. They are equipped with strong limbs, with 3 to 3.5 in. curved claws (toes) on each foot.

Behavior: Two-toed sloth's live primarily in trees, spending most of their time hanging by all fours, upside down from a limb. Sloths move about, eat, sleep, mate and give birth while hanging upside down. All activity is done very slowly to conserve energy. The only time they come down to the ground is to urinate and defecate or to relocate to another tree, which happens once a month. They cannot move very well on the ground, but can swim extremely well. Sloths are nocturnal creatures and are generally solitary.

Reproduction: Females reach sexual maturity at about 3 years, males about 4 - 5 years. Gestation is about 345 days with a single sloth being born. Young stay with their protective and attentive mother for about a year. Sloths can live in captivity for about 30 years; with life span in the wild is 12-16 years.

Conservation: Two-toed sloth's have a wide distribution, presumed large population and occur in a number of protected areas. They also have a degree of tolerance to habitat modification.