Question and Answer Session with...the Two-toed Sloth

As dictated to Jessa Franck, Keeper

Q. I heard they had a sloth at the Sacramento Zoo, but I’ve never seen you. Where do you live?
A. I live in an exhibit with the white-faced sakis because we’re both native to South America. I’m a nocturnal animal, so I spend most of the day sleeping inside. Sometimes I’ll come out on exhibit in the daytime to nap in the palm fronds or to eat my lunch.

Q. Lunch? What do you eat?
A. Sloths are slow-moving, so you wouldn’t expect us to be out capturing zebra (especially since they’re on a different continent). In the wild I eat what I encounter including leaves, fruit, flowers, and the occasional bird’s egg. At the Zoo, I get fed apple, banana, broccoli, beet, sweet potato, spinach, grapes, and specially formulated primate biscuits. Some of my favorite treats are papaya, pineapple, and roses.

Q. If you’re so slow-moving, how do you avoid getting eaten?
A. I try to be invisible. My fur is brown and that helps me blend in with my surroundings, especially when I’m holding still. Sloths in the wild also have algae growing on their fur which helps camouflage them even more. I also spend most of my time up in the trees except for about once a week when I come down to take care of business.

Q. Are you saying you only have to take care of business once a week?
A. I have a slow metabolism.

Q. Okay, changing topics. Do you get lonely being the only sloth?
A. Sloths are normally solitary, but one of my distant relatives does live at the Zoo. I belong to the order Edentata, also known as Xenarthra, and so does the Zoo’s giant anteater.

Q. Do you have any hidden talents?
A. Sloths are excellent swimmers which comes in handy during the Amazon River’s seasonal flooding.

Q. Do you have any questions for the sloth? Leave a comment and she’ll try to answer them!
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