Charlotte The Sloth Arrives At Denver Zoo

Charlotte Greenie, a Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, has arrived at the Denver Zoo and is getting along well with her new mate, Elliot.

Charlotte was sent to the Denver Zoo from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in Ohio with the hope that she will contribute to the genetic diversity of the zoo animals.

In their native habitats, found in the rain forests of Central and South America, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths spend their lives hanging in the trees. An exclusively nocturnal species, they become active about an hour after sunset and are active until about two hours before sunrise. Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths spend an average of six hours per day foraging and 15 to 18 hours sleeping.

Charlotte’s new home at the Denver Zoo is in the Aquatics Room of the Bird World exhibit. Bird World is “an indoor aviary where each room features a naturalistic habitat and aquatic ecosystem, most without barriers so birds can fly freely among zoo visitors,” according to the zoo’s website.

At 19-years-old, Charlotte has lived past the average age for her species in the wild. In captivity, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths have an average lifespan of 30 years. Her mate, Elliot, is 24-years-old. Zoo officials reported on their introduction in a news release.

“Charlotte was introduced to male Elliot on July 13 and the two are getting along wonderfully. They spend time together, perched in the trees inside Bird World, and even sleep next to each other.”

Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths spend most of their lives in their arboreal habitat. They eat, sleep, mate, and give birth while hanging upside-down. Staff at the Denver Zoo are optimistic about the possibility of baby sloths.

The Denver Zoo Facility Master Plan shows that Bird World is one of 32 buildings scheduled for an upgrade. According to the Denver Post, many of the buildings proposed are replacements for existing buildings.

“Some structures could give visitors a closer vantage point than the traditional fenced-off viewing areas that look toward animal enclosures from afar.

“The master plan also calls for several areas to be reworked into large habitats for groups of animals. Officials hope such changes will make for a more dynamic — and less artificial — view into nature.”

Rather than separating the animals by species, which is the traditional zoo method, the Denver Zoo plans to separate species by environment. The Denver Zoo is also working to improve its exterior appearance, especially from City Park, in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood. You can read more about the Denver Zoo Facility Master Plan here.

[Photo via Denver Zoo]