Linne’s Two-toed Sloths are found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. This nocturnal, arboreal species is named for the two digits with long curved nails on their front feet. These specialized nails (along with the three on their back feet) allow the sloth to hang upside-down onto branches high in the canopy where they eat plant matter such as leaves, flowers and fruit. A Linne’s Two-toed Sloth’s large multi-chambered stomach assists with digesting this material and the whole process may take more than a month! The low nutritional value of their diet and their slow metabolism are some of the reasons for the sloths’ infamously slow speed.
The Zoo’s resident Linne’s Two-toed Sloth, Edwina, came to the Sacramento Zoo in 1992 from the Santa Barbara Zoo and has been “hanging” around ever since. Edwina is 25-years-old and her favorite snacks are sweet potatoes, with grapes and broccoli as close runners-up. During the day, she is often napping inside – visitors are most likely to catch a glimpse of her in the cool mornings or during rainy weather. She is one of the few animals at the Zoo who loves venturing outside in the rain and getting her fur soaked! Though not threatened in the wild, deforestation remains a concern for the Linne’s Two-toed Sloth along with many other species that also inhabit tropical rainforests. The Sacramento Zoo participates in the AZA Linne’s Two-toed Sloth Species Survival Plan® (SSP).