Mom Chalupa is "exhibiting quality maternal instincts" to still unnamed newborn

By Ashley Boucher
May 18, 2019 12:39 AM
Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Good things come to those who wait — or at least, to those who take things nice and slow.

A baby Hoffman’s two-toed sloth was born this week at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but the pregnancy initially came as a surprise to the zookeepers and staff.

The pregnancy was discovered during an unrelated vet visit for 19-year-old mom Chalupa. Zookeepers were shocked to find that after four years living with a male sloth named Bosco things had turned romantic between the duo. However, since sloths are nocturnal, it’s possible that breeding occurred after zoo hours.

The gender of the baby sloth, which was born May 14 at 12:15 p.m., will not be determined for some months, and no name has been decided on as of yet. But the baby seems strong, and first-time mom Chalupa is “exhibiting quality maternal instincts,” the zoo announced Wednesday. Both mom and baby are visible to guests in the zoo’s Monkey Pavilion.

“Sloths are famously adored for their slow-motion lifestyles,” said Monkey Pavilion animal care manager Joanna Husby. “Even successful breeding and conception can take longer for sloth parents than other animals. This baby was worth the wait, though. It’s pretty cute, with dark fur, really dark eyes and the most adorable little nose. Chalupa and the baby are bonding well, and we’re excited to watch this little sloth grow up.”

Sloth mom Chalupa and baby at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
| Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

This isn’t the only sloth born in Colorado this year.

In April, the Denver zoo welcomed another sloth tot.

The adorable newborn was born to the 23-year-old Charlotte, and like Chalupa’s baby, the sex had not yet been determined, nor was a name chosen. The zookeepers in Denver said that they were giving the mom and baby time to bond.

The little sloth climbed onto Charlotte shortly after birth, and will likely stay there for six months.

In Atlanta, yet another baby sloth was welcomed back in November. The female baby sloth was named Willow in March after an online poll encouraged sloth lovers to take part in deciding her name. The other options included Blossom, Bean, Fern, Clyde and Rio.

RELATED VIDEO: Denver Zoo Welcomes Baby Sloth

And that’s not the only baby animal to be named recently with the help of a competition.

Baby eastern black rhinoceros Kamara was born in April at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. Her name means “moonlight” in Swahili, but the calf could have been Kerubi (“cherub”), Malaika (“queen”), Hazina (“treasure”) or Maisha (“life”). The zoo said that 29 percent of the 2,700 that were cast went to the winning moniker.