Two-toed sloth

These slow moving, peaceful creatures can be found in the forests of South America.

Take your time and hang around with Tuppee.

Partial to a nice bit of asparagus every now and again you’ll more than likely spot Tuppee curled in a ball and catching ‘forty winks!’

They get their name from the two large claws on their forelimbs. These can grow up to 7.5cm in length. The claws have a super strong grip and some sloth have been known to remain hanging from the trees long after death!

They are unique in the animal world in that they do spend most of their life upside down. They eat, sleep and even give birth upside down and because of this, their internal organs have actually re-positioned over a period of time.

Conservation

Although listed as least concern there is a decrease in numbers in the wild. This is mainly down the destruction of their natural habitat. It's actually quite difficult to get a real idea of numbers in the wild as sloths and people have very little contact.

Two toed questions and answers

Do they have any predators?
They do. They include anacondas, harpy eagles, ocelots and jaguars.

What do they eat?
Mainly leaves, but occasionally they will eat fruit. They have also been known to eat bird’s eggs, lizards and insects. Tuppee is very fond of asparagus spears and baby corn, which he expertly balances on his claws whilst munching!

Why are they so still for so long?
It’s due to their low energy diet. They try to save what little energy they have. They do this by moving very slowly and deliberately. And by sleeping up to 15 hours a day!

How fast (or slow) do they move?
In a tree it’s about three metres per minute, but on the ground it's a little slower at only two metres per minute. They're actually quite dangerous because their claws are razor sharp but they're not likely to catch you!

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.