Cincinnati Zoo announces Lightning, the two-toed sloth, is a new mom

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has announced that Lightning, the Zoo’s Linne’s two-toed sloth, has given birth.

 “This is the first sloth baby that our team has cared for,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s manager of ambassador animals Julie Grove. “We are beyond excited that the baby is finally here. We’re ready to provide support to Lightning as she navigates being a mom.” 

In 2021, Lightning gave birth to a stillborn pup, so the team was both excited and nervous about what would happen this time. So far, the new pup is bonding with Lightening, zoo officials said.  

The sex of the infant is not yet known, and it may be some time before that is determined. It is difficult to identify the gender of a sloth and often requires DNA testing to know for sure. Baby names are being discussed, the zoo said.

The baby will start to sample solid foods at about 10 days and will continue to nurse for about a month. After that, it will cling to its mother’s belly and eat whatever she eats. It first hangs upside down on its own at 20 to 25 days. 

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