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Hattiesburg Zoo announces the birth of baby sloth

(The following photos press release and photo were submitted from the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.)

On July 5th, 2022 the Hattiesburg Zoo’s female Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, Mo gave birth to a male baby named Lumpawaroo (Lumpy). This marks the third live birth for Mo at the Hattiesburg Zoo. “When little Lumpy was born the keepers noticed pretty quickly that he wasn’t nursing,” said Kristen Moore, Animal Curator at the Hattiesburg Zoo. “We waited a few hours to see if he would latch on, but he never did and we discovered that Mo was not producing milk.”

At that point, the animal care team intervened. After contacting other zoos and sharing notes and research, it was determined that goat’s milk was the best supplement to use for Lumpy. Sloths are naturally lactose intolerant and goats milk contains the least amount of lactose. Animal keepers syringe fed Lumpy every two hours while keeping him with his mother. “By keeping Lumpy with his mother, the two were able to maintain the mother/baby bond, which is so important,” said Moore.

Once Lumpy maintained and began gaining weight, the animal care team moved their attention to determine how to help Mo produce milk. “We were able to give Mo an injection of a medication that quicky increased her milk production,” continued Moore. “Soon after, Lumpy began nursing from his mother.”

“I want to commend our keepers and veterinary staff who did an outstanding job of observing a potential problem, and quickly intervening so that baby Lumpy remained healthy in the company of his mother,” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which manages the Hattiesburg Zoo.

Lumpy and his mother will be on display in their habitat beginning Saturday, July 30th.




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