Introducing Sylvia Sloth at Alligator Attraction

We all geeked out about the arrival of Sid the Sloth. He’s welcomed many friends since he began calling Alligator Attraction in Madeira Beach home.

Since then, Sid has acclimated well and enjoys taking pics and hanging out (or upside down, as the case may be).

But now we have even more exciting news…

Sylvia Sloth, a Hoffman two-toed sloth, has joined our family of rescued animals. She is so cute and cuddly, don’t you think?


Fun Facts About Our Hoffman Sloths

Wow your friends and family with these fun facts about sloths:

  1. The Hoffman sloth is usually found in rainforests in South and Central America.
  2. They are largely nocturnal, although they sleep about 17 hours a day.
  3. They spend most of their lives in trees hanging upside down.
  4. If you see them on the ground in the wild (You’ll need your passport for that. There aren’t any in the US.), they are likely going to the bathroom or on their way to find new food.
  5. Hoffman sloths are between 21 and 29 inches full grown, or about the circumference of a bowling ball.
  6. They weigh between 9 and 20 pounds.
  7. In the wild, they only live 10-12 years but in captivity they can live as long as 31 years. As cute and cuddly as they are, this is one of the reasons they don’t make good pets. It’s also not likely the average home has the type of habitat they prefer for them to live comfortably. (You should check out our sloth playground at Alligator Attraction to see what we mean, lots of nets and leaves.)
  8. Sid and Sylvia eat mainly vegetables and leaves.
  9. They have multi-chambered stomachs, like a cow. It can take them up to a week to digest a meal. With their slow metabolism they don’t feel hungry as quickly as we do.
  10. Sloths only descend from the trees to urinate or defecate every 5-7 days. That’s a lot less than the average child on a road trip.
  11. Sloths have very low body temperatures, which helps them conserve energy.
  12. Next time someone reminds you that you need to take a bath, you can tell them you’re trying to be a sloth. Although sloths are very good swimmers and do get in the water (hey, that counts as a bath, right?), their grooved fur and lack of movement allows them to grow algae on it. This algae, which is green, helps them camouflage in the treetops.
  13. There are about 11 females for every one male in the wild.
  14. Sloths’ predators include animals we might avoid as well including anacondas and jaguars.
  15. Sloths aren’t endangered but their habitat is. We need to keep an eye on their population because of this environmental threat.


Are Sylvia and Sid a Couple?

Male sloths tend to prefer a solitary lifestyle, that means they like to be alone. They will meet up to mate.

But Sid and Sylvia are really too young (right now) for any of this. They are both about a year old. Sylvia will reach maturation at about three and Sid will take a little longer. He won’t be ready until he’s 4-5 years old. In the meantime, they’ll just get used to being with one another and having company.

Unlike some animals, sloths can mate year round. They have no defined season. When they do mate, they have one baby at a time. After it’s born, that baby clings to its mama for between 6-9 months.

We’ll just have to wait and see before we can start talking about Sylvia and Sid as a couple. We didn’t adopt them with that in mind. We took them in because they’re losing their natural habitat.

Speaking of…


The Danger Sloths Face

Sloths live in the rainforests and many of those are being developed and cut down for their rich natural resources. That means, among other things, tons of animals are being displaced. Many animals simply move.

But for the ultra-slow-moving sloth, relocation is less likely. When bulldozers and other machinery come into their forests they don’t have time to get away. They only move 6-8 feet per minute or 360-480 feet per hour! A bulldozer in driving speed can do about 33,000 feet per hour (or 6.25 miles per hour), albeit it less with obstacles.

See why it’s hard for sloths to get out of the way?

While we can’t take them all in, we’re trying to help with Sid and Sylvia. You can help too by supporting our mission and raising awareness of the problems behind destroying the sloths’ natural environment.


Can I Visit Sylvia Sloth?

While she gets acclimated to her new home at Alligator Attraction, we are limiting her exposure to new faces. Check with us to find out when you can schedule some time to see her and Sid. It’s a very unique experience and one you’ll remember for a very long time.

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