Monday, 3 January 2011

A rollercoaster start to the New Year

So 2011 at Aviarios started quite dramatically with the loss of 2 babies - Tiny Myte (Bradypus) and Elliot (Choloepus). They both died on the same night and as of yet, we don't know why. Tiny Myte is pictured below:

The following day, we were surprised by the birth of twins! We had no idea the mother, Mocha, was pregnant so it came as a complete shock to find her giving birth at all - never mind to twins !! What is even more incredible is the fact that she is only just about 3 years old herself, which means she must have become pregnant at only around 2 !! All the literature claims that the two-fingered sloth only reaches sexual maturity at 3 - which is clearly not the case! Both the babies were incredibly well developed, weighing in at 315g and 325g. There is one boy and one girl, named Sebastian and Violet!

Unfortunately, because the mother was so young herself and had been hand raised in captivity, the birth of 2 babies was very stressful for her and she didn't react too well. She failed to bite through the umbilical cords so we had to cut them free then take the babies to properly finish the job. She didn't pass the placenta immediately and we had no idea whether to expect 1 or 2 ... but turns out when sloths have twins they only pass one ! We tried to reintroduce one of the twins to her, but she was so stressed she rejected it. They are now safe and warm in the incubator being fed goats milk every few hours! Here are some pictures ...

As if that wasn't enough drama for one day, we then had ANOTHER baby brought in. This one was much bigger though, probably around 11 months. It looks as though he may have been weaned from his mum a tiny bit too early, which meant that he sat in a bush next to a hotel for 5 days and didn't move. He is slowly starting to eat hibiscus flowers (sloth chocolate) from us but hopefully he will start accepting Almond leaves and can soon be released into the forest!
In the meantime, one of our volunteers, Kyle, managed to get biten on the chin by an adult Choloepus with paralysed legs - Chewbacca. Nothing is impossible it seems....

1 comment:

  1. Hola Beccy,

    How the devil are you?

    We were at Aviarios in October November (we left the same time that you left for Panama with Emily)

    Sorry to hear about Titan, and some of the babies that arrived when we were there and looked helped after.

    How is the research going?

    Have you heard from Emily?

    I emailed Judy re some of the babies before stumbling on your blog, whichseem more up to date, so wwe've book marked it now.

    Cheers and best wishes,

    Paul and Siobhan x