Congratulations are in order for new parents Honey and Mervin on their first baby!
Honey and Mervin are two-toed sloths, of course, who live at The Virginia Zoo, and it's actually the zoo's first baby sloth birth as well. Born on March 8, 2020, the itty bitty sloth is "doing really well, nursing from mom and eating small bites of cooked veggies from its mom and the Keepers,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the zoo’s veterinarian.
So, can you see the baby sloth? Not quite yet, explains Clabbers: “From birth, sloth babies learn to hang onto mom’s chest or stomach and will stay out of view to avoid detection from predators. For this reason, and to not disturb the bond between mom and baby, we stay hands off with the infant unless we have concerns." In a way, the little sloth family is quarantining, just like us. They're hanging together—baby clinging to mom—sleeping most of the day and are more active at night. (Same.)
While you can't set your eyes on the new family yet, you can still have an impact: You can choose the baby sloth's name! The Virginia Zoo is auctioning off the chance to name the new family member, and all proceeds from the auction will benefit the zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund, which will ensure the Virginia Zoo has additional resources to go the extra mile for any areas of need during the organization’s closure due to COVID-19.
You have from now until 5 p.m. ET April 21 to enter a bid to name the baby sloth. Heads up: Because the animal care staff has been hands off to let Honey and baby bond, the sex is actually not yet known, the so the zoo is encouraging names that are gender neutral. (Good thing we have a whole list right here.)