Interested in a super wholesome type of gambling?
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden just opened up its betting pool for guessing when Lightning the sloth's new baby will be born. And whoever picks the correct date and time will win a special Zoom call with mom and her new pup. Each guess costs $5 and funds will go to care for the sloths at the zoo as well as at The Sloth Institute in Costa Rica.
Betting is open until 11:59 p.m. Sept. 30 at cincinnatizoo.org/sloth-baby-pool.
The 9-year-old Lightning arrived at the zoo in 2019 to be paired with 21-year-old Moe, who had been at the zoo since 2006.
And since sloths do everything slowly, it wasn't love at first sight. But they grew closer over the course of the pandemic and are now expecting their first baby.
A sloth’s gestation period is 10-months, which means Lightning should give birth sometime in September or October.
“We are always cautiously optimistic with first-time moms, but we are fairly confident that Lightning’s assertive personality will lend well to being a first-time mom,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s interpretive animal team leader Sarah Swanson upon the pregnancy announcement.
Once the new sloth pup is born, the majority of parenting will fall into Lightning’s hands.
“It will latch onto her and stay attached for the next 10-12 months. Dad’s contribution is genetics,” said Swanson.
Both Lightning and Moe are Linne’s two-toed sloths, with Moe being heralded as especially important. As a young sloth, Moe was orphaned in the wild before being brought into the care of humans. This makes Moe’s genetics valuable because of their direct connection to the wild. While two-toed sloths are not yet considered to be endangered, humans are getting closer and closer to crossing that line.
The Cincinnati Zoo is located at 3400 Vine St., Avondale. More info: cincinnatizoo.org.
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