Zoo celebrates birth of baby sloth; mom, son to make public debut together

The Hattiesburg Zoo announced a new baby boy has joined its family of sloths.
The Hattiesburg Zoo announced a new baby boy has joined its family of sloths.(Hattiesburg Convention Commission)
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM/Gray News) - A zoo in Mississippi welcomed a new baby sloth this month.

The Hattiesburg Zoo announced another Linnaeus sloth to the family, the fifth member of the Hattiesburg tribe of sloths and its first male offspring.

WDAM reported the zoo’s female two-toed sloth named Mo gave birth to a male baby on July 5, who became known as Lumpy.

Officials said Lumpy was Mo’s third live birth at the Hattiesburg Zoo, with the little guy joining his older sisters, Maple and Mochi, in the family tree.

According to the zoo, the newborn and his mother survived complications after the birth.

“When little Lumpy was born, the keepers noticed pretty quickly that he wasn’t nursing,” said Kristen Moore, animal curator at the Hattiesburg Zoo. “We waited a few hours to see if he would latch on, but he never did, and we discovered Mo was not producing milk.”

The zoo’s animal care team determined that goat’s milk was the best supplement for Lumpy. The team said that sloths are naturally lactose intolerant and goat’s milk contains the least amount of lactose.

The zoo said that animal keepers fed Lumpy every two hours with a syringe while keeping him with his mother.

According to Zoo representatives, once Lumpy maintained and began gaining weight, the animal care team’s attention moved to determine how to help Mo produce milk, which she did after receiving medication.

The Hattiesburg Zoo reports mother and son are currently doing well enough to make their public debut on Saturday.

“I want to commend our keepers and veterinary staff for doing an outstanding job of observing a potential problem and quickly intervening. Baby Lumpy remained healthy and in the company of his mother,” said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which manages the Hattiesburg Zoo.

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