A young Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth is being trained as an animal ambassador. Her parents currently live in the Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey.
Though fairly common in their natural habitat, deforestation and other forms of habitat destruction and hunting remain threats for the sloth. Other human-made threats include power lines and roads. Educating children and adults in the sloths’ home countries about the animals' importance to the ecosystem and how to treat the animals respectfully remains a challenge for those who want to help this unique and wonderful animal.
Both two-toed sloth species have been bred and successfully maintained in zoos. However, species identification between the two has always been problematic, as they look much alike, representing an obstacle to managed-care breeding programs. Based on the genetic information, a senior research associate in our Genetics Division designed a low-cost, easy to-use genetic tool to identify two-toed sloths and improve management of the captive population. This tool allows visualizing DNA differences between species in a polymer matrix, a procedure that can be implemented with non-sophisticated tools in simple laboratory settings. Read more here...
You can help us bring sloths and other species back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe.