Where to see them:
KIDZone, near the Endangered Species Carousel
- Hoffman’s sloths are one species of Two- toed Sloths – named for the two claws on each of their forelimbs.
- This species is nocturnal.
- Sloths spend almost their entire lives upside down – even their hair grows backwards so the rain runs off their stomachs towards their backs.
Head and body length: 21-29 inches; weight: 9-19 pounds
Central to South America (Nicaragua to Peru and central Brazil)
Sloths usually live solitarily most of their lives, although several females may live in the same tree. Also, males and females only live near each other for breeding. Sloths only come to the ground to urinate and defecate; otherwise they live in the trees. Special hairs on their bodies encourage algae growth, providing great camouflage for the sloths because it turns their hair green.
Sloths are herbivores. In the wild, they eat leaves, flowers, tender twigs, and fruits. In the Zoo, they eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, edible plants and a dry food (similar to dry dog food) that contains vital nutrients.
Hoffman’s sloths have a gestation of 10-12 months. They typically have one baby at a time, and the baby will cling to its mother for about 6 months, but stays near its mother for about 1 year. Sloths live for about 20 years, but in captivity they can live into their thirties.
Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Tamarins, whiteface monkeys, howler monkeys, jaguars, geckos, toucans and parrots
Population Status & Threats
Hoffman’s sloths are vulnerable due mainly to negative interactions with humans encroaching into their territory, whether it is paved roads that the sloths have to cross, power lines that the sloths accidentally climb and burn themselves, the loss of their habitat due to deforestation, or humans poaching them for the pet trade. Fortunately, there are still many sloths in the wild, but their populations are being closely monitored.