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Hoffman's Sloth


Nicaragua to Brazil


Mountainous tropical rainforests


Sloths have rounded heads and flattened faces with tiny ears concealed under a dense, shaggy fur, and their hands and feet end in curved claws that are 3-4 inches in length. The basic color of the sloth's coat is gray or brown, however, because of the humid atmosphere, a tinge of green algae may grow on the outer layer of hairs, effectively camouflaging them from danger.

Hoffman's Sloth Click to View Bigger Picture

Sloths spend a considerable amount of time hanging upside down in the tree canopy and even sleep in this position at times. Sloths rarely descend to the ground. The vast majority of their time awake is spent feeding. Sloths are strictly herbivorous, and are primarily leaf eaters. When sloths do descend to the forest floor, it is only about once a week to defecate.


Sloths are solitary animals that appear to have no fixed breeding season. Females reach sexual maturity in about 3 1/2 years, while males are mature between four and five years. Following a gestation period of about 1 year the single young is born. The young clings to the mother for 6-8 months using the mother as a mobile nest. Soon the infant begins to feed from the same trees as its mother. The male does not participate in rearing the young.

Hoffman's Sloth Click to View Bigger Picture
Hoffman's Sloth
Class: mammal
Genus: Choloepus
Species: hoffmanni
Length: 60-64 centimeters (24-25 inches)
Weight: Up to 9 kilograms (20 pounds)
Average Lifespan: 16
Wild Diet: Leaves, shoots, blossoms, fruit
Predators: Harpy eagle, jaguar, man
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Tropics Zone

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