Lightning the sloth gives birth at Cincinnati Zoo

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 1:16 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) -Lightning, a two-toed sloth, gave birth at the Cincinnati Zoo Wednesday.

The baby is healthy and strong, bonding with its mother.

The zoo says the baby is latching onto Lightning and will stay attached to her for the next 10-12 months.

“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, so the team has been monitoring the newborn and its mother.

“We are monitoring mom and baby closely but remaining hands off for the most part,” said Grove. “Lightning’s maternal instincts are kicking in. We’re seeing all the behaviors that we want to see!”

The zoo officials say they do not know the sex of the baby yet, and it may be some time before that is determined. The zoo says it can be difficult to identify the gender of the sloth and, a lot of times, may require DNA testing.

Baby names are still being discussed, and they will make a selection next week.

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