A guide to sloths

Sun 13th November

Everything you need to know about Sloths!

Paradise Wildlife Park is home to the Sloth, one of the more interesting animals on the planet! Find out more about Sloths in our guide.

What is a sloth?

Sloths are a species of animal known for their adorable faces and slow movements. Although they don’t appear to be similar to any other species, they belong to the Xenarthra family which also includes armadillos and anteaters.


There are six species of sloth within two genera. These are the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth. The species are:

  • Maned sloth
  • Brown-throated sloth
  • Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth
  • Hoffman’s two-toed sloth
  • Pale-throated sloth
  • Pygmy three-toed sloth


What does a sloth look like?

Sloths are a unique looking species. They have round(ish) heads, very long arms, small ears, long curved claws and covered in brown fur.


How big is a sloth?

They can grow to be 2-2.5 feet long (or 0.6-0.8 meters).


Where do sloths live?

Sloths can be found in tropical rainforests within South America and Central America.


What is a baby sloth called?

A baby sloth is called…a baby sloth! Although other species of animal have a specific name for their young, such as calf or fawn, there is no specific name for a baby sloth, yet!


What does a sloth eat?

Sloths are herbivores, and due to their habitat in the rainforests, their diet largely consists of leaves and fruits.


How long can a sloth hold its breath?

According to experts sloths can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Wow!


Are sloths endangered?

The pygmy three-toed sloth is classified as ‘critically endangered’ as it can only be found on one small island near Panama and the maned sloth is classified as vulnerable.


What is the sloth’s natural habitat?

The natural habitat of the sloth is high up in the trees within a tropical rainforest.


How has the sloth adapted to its environment?

As they spend their lives high up in the treetops, sloths have developed tendons within their hands and feet that lock into place and allow them to hang upside down with ease. As they have an incredibly slow metabolism this is important, as it allows them to prevent wasting any of their much needed energy!


How long can a sloth live?

It’s estimated that sloths will live to be between 20-30 years old in the wild.


What is a predator to the sloth?

The sloth has predators from both the land and sky! The main predators of the sloth are jaguars and eagles, however margays & owls can target young sloths.


How many hours a day does a sloth sleep?

Sloths will sleep for an average of 15 hours a day! Due to their slow metabolism and general lack of energy they need to sleep in order to recover from any activity.


How fast do sloths move?

Sloths are slow, very veeeeery slow. In fact, the sloth can only move up to 1.6 kilometers per hour!


How many toes does a sloth have?

This depends. Two-toed sloths have two toes on the front feet and three toes on the back feet, whereas three-toed sloths have three toes on all feet.


Where in the UK can you hold or meet a sloth?

Due to health and safety reasons you can’t hold a sloth (long claws remember!). In order to keep our wildlife safe we should avoid holding sloths as it can cause distress and health complications. However, here at Paradise Wildlife Park you can feed this wonderful species in our sloth experience.


If you love sloths as much as we do and you want to help our sloth conservation efforts you can adopt a sloth today.



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