Under the watchful eye of Topeka Zoo staff, Jackie, a 28 year old Hoffman’s Sloth, gave birth at 9:40 Wednesday morning.
The baby named Sago (pronounced Say-go as in the Sago Palm it was named after) is clinging to its mother and appears to be doing great. The baby was born in the Zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest.
The gender of the baby most likely won’t be known for several months. “This is a very experienced mom,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley. “We won’t disturb the newborn sloth unless we see something concerning. Right now, mom and baby appear to have things figured out and are doing great.”
This is Jackie’s 16th offspring and the fourth that she has had with Mocha, the father. “Our Rain Forest is a perfect habitat for sloths,” said Wiley. “She gives birth to one nearly every year.”
There are approximately 76 Hoffman’s sloths at 40 AZA accredited zoos in North America. Currently six of them reside at the Topeka Zoo. Three of Jackie’s offspring are expected to move to other zoos in 2019 based on the recommendation of the Hoffman’s Sloth Species Survival Plan.
Jackie, Foley (Jackie’s offspring born last year) and Sago can currently be viewed in the Zoo’s Tropical Rain Forest if you are patient enough to find them.