The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is officially on baby sloth watch.
A two-toed sloth is expected to be born soon to mother Lightning, 8, and father Moe, 21, and will be the first newborn sloth for both the parents and the zoo.
Zoo officials announced Monday that Lightning’s birth clock is officially on. Zoo volunteers have started watching their camera overnight to alert their care team to signs of labor, and zookeepers have prepared and baby-safe their habitat.
Lightning first came to Cincinnati in 2019 based on a breed recommendation from the Association of Zoo and Aquarium Species Survival Plan (SSP) and was introduced to 21-year-old Moe, a wild-born rescue, in December of that year.
Moe has been at the zoo since 2006. This will be his first chance at fatherhood.
Lightning became pregnant for the first time in October, and sloths have a gestation period of 10 to 11 months, so the baby is likely to be born sometime in the fall.