National Aviary introduces new baby sloth


Photo credit: Miller Overmoyer

Gage Goulding

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh introduced their newest family member, a two-toed baby sloth, to the public on Jan. 9. The female sloth, Vivien Leigh, is available for the public to meet every day at 12:30 p.m.

Vivien joins two other sloths at the Pittsburgh indoor zoo – Wookiee and Rudolph Valentino. The baby sloth is named after 1920’s film actress and star, Vivien Leigh. Viven Leigh is a Linnaeus two-toes sloth and was born on Aug. 21, 2017 to a breeder in Florida before she was brought to her new home in Pittsburgh. Although she is almost five months old, Vivien is only 14.5 inches long and weighs a mere 2.5 pounds.

“We are delighted to welcome another sloth,” said National Aviary Executive Director Cheryl Tracy in a press release. “Public response to the arrival of Valentino in 2016 was and has continued to be overwhelmingly positive, and with so much interest in seeing and learning about this remarkable species, we felt that the time was right to introduce another.”

Guests at the aviary have the opportunity to see Vivien during one of her regularly scheduled feeding times. She is joined by her caretakers as well as her favorite fuzzy pink blanket.

Dr. Pilar Fish, the indoor zoos director of veterinary medicine released, following a recent medical examination, that Vivien was in excellent health and growing properly.

The zoo is hand-raising the baby sloth in order to make her more comfortable around people. Viven is anticipated to be an educational ambassador, which is a animal that helps guests understand the importance of rain forest conservation.

Starting on Feb. 1, guests will have the opportunity to purchase a “Sloth Encounter” package to meet and pet Vivien in a private session. The package costs around $150 and lasts about 20-30 minutes according to Carly Morgan, marketing manager for the National Aviary. Reservations for the sloth encounter package are available now but are limited to one session per day. Each session is limited to only eight guests, according to the National Aviary website.