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Buttonwood Zoo Welcomes Sandy the Sloth

Courtesy Buttonwood Park Zoo

Buttonwood Park Zoo recently announced its newest resident. Her name is Sandy and she's the New Bedford zoo's first female, two-toed sloth.

Sandy came from the Philadelphia Zoo and will join Bernardo, the only other sloth in New Bedford, in the exhibit: "Rainforests, Rivers and Reefs."
Director Keith Lovett says that sloths are some of the cutest animals, although he points out they aren't known for their speed.

Credit Courtesy Buttonwood Park Zoo
Sandy living that "Slow Lifestyle."

"Sloths in the wild are typically covered in algae and the reason is they are so slow moving, algae can actually grow on their fur," Lovett says. "So it looks like they have a green glow to them. It's algae growing on their back."

Lovett says the zoo will have daily "sloth talks" where visitors can get a close-up look of Bernardo and Sandy.

Lovett says sloths life a "slow lifestyle" in order to save on energy, which includes only occasionally descending from tree canopies, and eating a low-calorie diet.

Sloths on average travel about 40 yards per day, have one of the longest digestion periods for an animal of its size, and have an incredibly slow metobolic rate.