Aquarium volunteer Aaron J.’s excitement at seeing a two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) in the Graham Amazon Gallery is palpable.
“Anytime I get the chance to see a two-toed sloth, it fills me with joy. If it wakes up, that joy expands tenfold!”
With Aaron’s enthusiasm for this mammal, it’s no wonder that he chose it for July’s Staff Pick of the Month. Aaron says he spends as much time as possible in this gallery, hoping to see at least one of the three two-toed sloths when it’s awake.
The waking-up part is significant because sloths are nocturnal – they sleep about 15 hours during the day.
Two-toed sloths spend most of their lives hanging upside down. This is how they eat, sleep, mate and even give birth. They eat mostly leaves, twigs and fruit, though the Aquarium sloths have their diet supplemented with steamed root vegetables, eggs and tofu – deelish!
Visitors and staff alike just can’t get enough of this hairy, slow-moving animal. If you don’t see one camouflaging in the trees, get a staff member or volunteer to point one out – they generally know where their hiding spots are.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.