Have you ever wondered how a baby sloth is born? Although I know that baby sloths are born in trees. I just realized on the 27th of September that it is a risky business! On the 27th of September, we received a call that a baby sloth had been found on the ground in someone’s backyard. So we drove over, equipped with our Bluetooth speaker. We thought the mother could not be far and wanted to amplify the baby’s cries to lure the mother to her baby.
However, when we arrived, we learned the baby had fallen off its mother the day before. Crying for its mother. And discovered by the man because of that. He did not dare leave it because he had cats. But by now, almost 24 hours later, the poor little two-fingered baby sloth had weakened so severely it could not call anymore. We realized this was an accident that happened during or shortly after the birth. The membranes were not completely removed, so the baby may have fallen while the mother had been licking it to remove the membrane. We looked and looked, but no adult sloth was near. We left with the baby because we could not reunite it with its mother. The man who had called us told us he regularly saw these two-fingered sloths and estimated there were five in the trees in his backyard.
We were on our way back for almost 10 minutes when he called us again. He had found the mother in the tree. We turned around, and yes, indeed. There was an adult two-fingered sloth in the tree near where he had found the baby. We tried to get its attention, but no response. Two-fingered sloths sleep during the day. After trying to get it to move for 15 minutes, we gave up. Maybe it was an aunt or the father. It was, in any case, not interested in us humans.
We asked the man before we left if he wanted to give the baby a name. He told us that his son had given it the name: Sheep. He called all animals sheep, because his father kept sheep in the backyard. Interestingly, two-fingered sloths are called in our local language skapuloiri, which means “sheep sloth.” Sheep is now almost two months old; after the first week of intensive care, we felt Sheep’s condition stabilizing. Now, Sheep is already starting to eat leaves and has become more aware of his surroundings.
Not long after we received Sheep, two more baby sloths were reported to us. In this case, two baby three-fingered sloths. As our animal caretaker has been on a long holiday since the end of September, the care for the babies fell on me. And although tiring, it reminded me why I am doing what we do. To give these baby animals a second chance to live a whole life.
Thanks to your support, we can give Sheep, Mailo, and Cleo a chance to have their own babies in the future.