Portland/ Parks & Nature
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Published on May 24, 2024
Meet Berry: Oregon Zoo Welcomes New Six-Year-Old Sloth to Lush Rainforest HabitatSource: DJ Cane, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Oregon Zoo has a new slow-moving resident causing a stir. Berry, a Linne's two-toed sloth, has been introduced to her new abode within the zoo's lush rainforest habitat. Despite her lethargic nature, the leaf-eating mammal has quickly adapted to her new surroundings. "Berry made herself right at home in the branches of a tree," Marcus Jason said, as per KOIN. Known for spending most of their time inverted in the forest canopy, Berry appears to have found her ideal perch.

Visitors keen to get a glimpse of the new arrival should direct their gaze upward when strolling past the nearby slender-snouted crocodile habitat. Berry, who is now six years old, tends to blend seamlessly into her arboreal landscape. "Sloths can nap up to 20 hours a day, and when they do move it's pretty slowly," Jason mentioned to the public. He added that Berry likes to be "up high in the trees, so be sure to look up when you visit," as he explained, per KPTV.

The decision to relocate Berry from a zoo in New Jersey to Oregon was driven by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan. This initiative aims to ensure genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations of at-risk species. Linne's two-toed sloths are currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, the Oregon Zoo staff pointed out that their numbers are nevertheless declining, mainly due to deforestation and illegal wildlife trading.

Although these sloths are not immediately threatened, conservation efforts like the Species Survival Plan are critical to preemptively safeguard such species. "Berry's move to the Oregon Zoo was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for Linne's two-toed sloths," was noted during her welcome. Her addition to the habitat is to not only diversify the gene pool but also play a part in educating the public on the importance of conservation, according to KPTV.