World’s slowest mammal makes leisurely debut at Longleat safari

A two-toed sloth, believed to be the slowest mammal in the world, has made its first public appearance at Longleat. Truffles, a 22-month-old female Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, is making herself at home in her purpose-built display at the Wiltshire safari park’s Jungle Kingdom near Warminster.

As sloths spend virtually all their entire time living upside down in trees, the new display area features a series of interconnected ropes and branches. It’s the first time Longleat has looked after a sloth and keepers are hoping to find a mate for her in the future.

“We have had to create a miniature tropical rainforest for Truffles with high temperatures and humidity as she cannot regulate her temperature herself so relies on the environment around her,” said Keeper Gemma Short. We’re also having to chop her food into long chips so she can hold them with her claws. Her favorite foods include baby corn, sweetcorn, mushrooms and parsnip,” she added.

READ MORE: Lorry carrying 24 pallets of wine erupts into flames on M4 Prince of Wales Bridge



Truffles the sloth enjoying a well earned break at Longleat

Found throughout the rainforests of South America, two-toed sloths sleep for around 15 hours a day and move so slowly that algae grows on their fur. This also acts as natural camouflage to hide them from potential predators including jaguars, anacondas, and harpy eagles.

They are most at risk when they descend to the ground where they can take more than a minute to move two meters. As they need to leave the trees to go to the toilet, they have developed high-capacity bladders and rectums which mean they can go for up to a week without having to answer the call of nature.

Despite their sedate lifestyle, sloths are extremely good swimmers and will sometimes drop from branches into the water to swim to a new location. Their slow metabolism also means they can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Naturally solitary animals, they live between 20 to 40 years. Their main threat is loss of habitat due to logging and rainforest clearance.

You can stay up to date on the top news near you with Wiltshire Live’s FREE newsletters – enter your email address at the top of the page or sign up to our newsletters.

Contact us with your news stories, pictures or information, or comment below with your views.

More from Wiltshire Live:

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.