Caring

Mon, 11 Feb, 2019Shannen Findlay

A retirement home for elderly sloths that will make you smile

A retirement home for elderly sloths that will make you smile

If you’re a lover of all animals, great and small, then you will absolutely melt if you visit a retirement sanctuary for aging sloths to enjoy their golden years.

Like many of us, when we think of retirement we dream of the sun on our skin and a paradise to call our own. The funny thing is, elderly sloths want and deserve the same.

A zoo in Begelly, Wales, is giving these slow-moving creatures a place to unwind for the rest of their days. Folly Farm says they’re committed to giving a home to older sloths from zoos looking to free up their enclosures for young, breeding pairs.

“Instead of taking on young breeding pairs, we have made the decision to home older sloths which have ‘retired’ from other zoos,” the announcement from Folly Farm read.

“[We are] giving them a comfortable home tailored to their needs as they relax into their twilight years.”

The retreat houses two cheeky two-toed sloths, 24-year-old Tuppee, and Lightcap from Bristol Zoo who is 34 years young.

Tuppee was the first sloth to make a home at the Folly retirement home in March 2016. In November 2018, Lightcap was also announced as a new arrival, and there are hopes for a blossoming friendship.

Just like many people, as sloths get older their muscles begin to ache and their joints become a little creaky. These slow-paced critters become even slower and need care that young sloths don’t yet require.

Tim Morphew, the Folly Farm’s zoo curator, says an older sloth’s diet is a little individual to their younger cousins.

“…We might boil their root vegetables to make them softer and easier to eat and if they’re showing signs of old age, [we will] add supplements like cod liver oil into their diet,” he explained.

“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.”

Two-toed sloths have a lifespan of 20 years on average in the wild but are known to live up to 50 years in capacity, according to Folly Farm.

So, if you ever plan to visit Wales, make sure you check out the gorgeous retirement home to meet our buddies, Tuppee and Lightcap.

Did you know about this heart-warming little home for aging sloths? Let us know in the comments below.

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