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Visitors can now spot two Linne’s two-toed sloths in the wildlife conservation charity’s new Sloths and Armadillos building which is opening gradually to help the pair settle in.
Two-year-old male Moana, nicknamed Mo, and one-year-old female Feira, known as Fe, have joined large hairy armadillos Nymeria and Diogo in the exhibit which tells the story of wildlife in South America and the threat it faces from loss of habit and illegal logging. Their fate is at the centre of discussions involving several governments, charities and wildlife preservation organisations.
Erika Oulton, senior animal experiences keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We are thrilled to have welcomed this brand-new species to the zoo and hope visitors will be able to spot Mo and Fe in their incredible new home during their visit.
“Our Brilliant Birds building has been refurbished to create an amazing space with lots of trees and ropes for our sloths to explore at their own pace. They are settling in well so far, though we’ll be keeping viewing hours limited for the first few weeks while they get used to their new surroundings.
“It is wonderful to open this exciting exhibit which our sloths are sharing with two large hairy armadillos who are important ambassadors for our charity’s conservation partners, working to protect threatened species and their habitats in Brazil.”
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With help from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has been supporting conservation partners in South America, the sloth’s native home, for over a decade. The Giant Armadillo Conservation Project established the first long term ecological study of endangered giant armadillos and the Anteaters & Highways initiative tracks giant anteaters to understand how the species is responding to increasing numbers of roads crossing their habitats in the wild.
Erika added: “We hope that by welcoming this well-loved species and further developing our animal experiences, we can help visitors foster a deeper connection with nature and inspire future conservationists to better protect wildlife across the globe.”
More information about visiting Edinburgh Zoo and RZSS conservation work can be found at edinburghzoo.org.uk