Slowly does it
Published: Dec 15, 2017We’ve got some exciting news
We’ve got some exciting news! His species comes from Central and Southern America, but he’s flown all the way from Sweden to be here. His name is Hadar and he’s a Hoffman’s two-toed sloth. Sloths are solitary animals and are largely nocturnal, although they love to sleep day or night. And… if you didn’t already know, they are one of the world’s slowest animals!
Newquay Zoo is already home to one of these incredible creatures. Roxy Peru has been living here in the top of the Tropical House for some time now, so the keepers thought it was about time she had some company. It can be quite difficult finding partners for some of our animals; rare and interesting species such as the Hoffman two-toed sloth are only kept in a few zoo collections across the world. Finding another zoo that kept them proved really difficult; our keepers have spent the last few years searching for the right mate for our Roxy. Eventually they came across Skansen Zoo in Sweden which was home to twin Hoffman two-toed sloths called Hildor and Hadar. The male Hadar seemed to be the perfect match for Roxy.
Our keepers used something called the European Studbook to find a match. Studbooks are used by zoos internationally to pair up animals, making sure they are genetically suitable and that there’s no danger of inbreeding. The idea was borrowed from the racehorse industry in the early 20th century. Each studbook is run by a studbook keeper who monitors population, collects data on births, deaths and transfers from each zoo and collection and produces the actual book. A full studbook is published every three years, with an update every year. They include things like natural history, information on status in the wild, census reports on the captive population, lists of all the deaths, births and transfers for the year and the breeding recommendations. So, these things are quite specific and contain a lot of information on different species that is really useful to animal keepers across the globe.
Once Hadar was found and all the paperwork was completed, his keepers in Sweden arranged for him to fly over to the UK. Sloths are used to a warm climate, so it was critical that he was kept nice and toasty during the flight. Once he arrived he was taken straight to our Tropical House where he now lives. He was given some time to settle in before being introduced to Roxy. Now Hadar and Roxy have met and they are slowly getting to know each other - working at sloth pace, this could take some time!
If you want to meet Hadar on your next visit to the Zoo, he can be found upstairs in the Tropical House with Roxy. For those who really love sloths – and who doesn’t - we also offer a sloth adoption. This makes a great Christmas present – check out the website to find out more.