Woodland Park Zoo received a surprise recently when it realized the baby sloth born a week before Christmas was actually TWO baby sloths.
Although out of sight, a dual pattern of vocalizations heard through a baby monitor in the maternity den suggested that there may be more than one cub nursing. Recently, web cam footage of the new family confirmed not just one, but two newborn sloth bears bonding and nursing with their mother, Tasha.
The pair of cubs, born to 17-year-old Randy and 7-year-old Tasha, continue to live in an off-view maternity den where keepers are observing their developments via web cam and a baby monitor.
The father, Randy, died a week ago from cancer.
Animal management staff will perform a routine neonatal exam on the cubs once Tasha begins giving the cubs more independence and temporarily shifts in and out of the maternity den.
The sloth bear exhibit is currently off view to the public as construction continues for the new Asian tropical forest exhibit. However, plans are in the works to provide zoo visitors special, temporary viewing access to Tasha and the cubs.
The zoo also recently received a 7-year-old male Asian small-clawed otter, which also will be housed in the new Asian tropical forest exhibit complex when it opens in May. Asian small-clawed otters are the world’s smallest otter species. The male otter came from Zoo Atlanta; a female will arrive from the Bronx Zoo before the end of January.