Vivien the Two-Toed Baby Sloth Is Ready for Her Closeup at the Pittsburgh National Aviary
Animals| | By Robin Milling
The Pittsburgh National Aviary welcomed the arrival of a two-toed baby sloth named Vivien on Aug. 21. A donor named her after the film star Vivien Leigh, and she is ready for her close-up.
At almost five months old, her adoring public may not be able to spend the night just yet, but visitors can ogle her during daily 12:30 p.m.feedings.
What does a baby sloth eat? Well, Vivien eats three square meals a day, each consisting of rice and sweet potato. As she gets older, she will consume fruits — who doesn’t love a good, crisp apple? — and plenty of vegetables, primarily such leafy greens as romaine lettuce, kale, and spinach.
“She is curious, bright, and alert. Her lungs sound good. She has a low heart rate — 40 to 45 beats per minute — and that’s normal for sloths,” director of veterinary medicine Dr. Pilar Fish told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Pittsburgh National Aviary mostly features birds from around the world, but they have invited other animals that share their ecosystem. Vivien is being groomed to be “an ambassador for her species” in educational programs that will bring her into close contact with the public.
Sloths are native to the rain forests of South and Central America, mostly observing the world upside down from the tops of trees.
This is an adventurous stage for Vivien. She spends most of her time climbing around in her enclosure — particularly at night as sloths are nocturnal and sleep 15 to 20 hours a day.
Two-toed sloth Valentino — named for 1920s movie star Rudolph — also lives at the aviary. Though they have yet to make each other’s acquaintance, the aviary hopes they will make a romantic match.
“We hope that one day, several years down the road, Vivien and Valentino will become parents to new sloths born at the National Aviary,” executive director Cheryl Tracy told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Beginning Feb. 1, visitors to the aviary can pay $150 to get up close and personal with Vivien. They can even sign up to take selfies during a 30-minute private encounter.
Hopefully this sleepy baby sloth will stay awake! Don’t forget to SHARE this story with people who love adorable baby mammals.