CINCINNATI (WCMH) — On International Sloth Day the Cincinnati Zoo is sharing some big news about a two-toed sloth named Lightning.
On Thursday, the zoo revealed that 10-year-old Lightning and her 23-year-old beau, Moe, are expecting a baby sloth, which is due early this summer, according to a news release. The news comes after a sad outcome from Lightning’s previous pregnancy.
“We waited several months before putting the sloth pair back together after Lightning delivered a stillborn baby last October”, said Cincinnati Zoo’s zoological manager Julie Grove. “They showed immediate interest in each other and did what we were hoping they would do!”
The zoo noted that Lightning has been receiving regular ultrasounds “which she enjoys as long as the bananas last.” A recent ultrasound showed that the fetus was growing and moving.
“Lightning is in good health, and we remain optimistic that she will deliver a healthy baby,” said Grove. “To make sure she gets plenty of rest and TLC, we are going to keep her behind the scenes until she gives birth. If all goes well, visitors will get to see Lightning and baby in July. Moe is in Discovery Forest and can be seen during regular zoo hours.”
Lightning and Moe have been paired at the zoo since December 2019. Because Moe was found orphaned in the wild, he is considered “extremely important” to help “maintain or increase genetic diversity” in the population.
After the baby is born, he or she will latch on to Lightning and stay attached for up to one year.