You Can Visit a Retirement Home for Sloths in the U.K.
Everyone deserves to live their best life well into their retirement years. And that includes a few furry sloths, too.
Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, located in Wales, announced in late 2018 that it planned to open its doors to aging sloths that were previously on display at other zoos. And now, they’ve done just that with a pair of two-toed sloths: a 24-year-old male named Tuppee and a 34-year-old female named Lightcap.
“Initially, we didn’t make a conscious decision to home older sloths,” zoo curator Tim Morphew told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “By taking on these older animals and giving them a comfortable retirement, we’re helping conservation efforts at other zoos by freeing up enclosures for younger, breeding pairs.”
The move to house and care for the sloths could help significantly extend their lifespan, according to the AJC.
“Aching muscles, creaking joints and slowing down a bit are all things that happen to us as we get older, and most animals are no different,” Morphew added in a statement. As he noted, the older sloths will get a bit of extra care, including having their food boiled for them to make it softer and easier to digest. The animals may also be given supplements, such as cod liver oil, to help their joints.
“Depending on how they get on, we might also look at adapting the enclosure to make the floor deeper and reduce the height of branches, so they don’t have as far to climb down,” he said.
Though the two creatures will be receiving the best of the best when it comes to care, they may still have issues. That, Morphew explained, is because the sloths are just like grumpy old people who simply may not get along.
“Like many older men, Tuppee has been known to be a bit grumpy and even misbehaves at times but we know he’s a softie at heart,” Morphew told the AJC. “We’re hoping some older, female company will be a good influence on him and bring out the softer side of his nature. Sloths aren’t known for being social animals, but as they get older, we’ve found they do like company.”
According to People, sloths have an average lifespan of 20 years in the wild. However, in captivity, the animals could live upwards of 50 years, meaning these two could reside in Wales for quite some time. Visitors are now welcome to come to visit Tuppee and Lightcap and watch them move about very, very slowly.