Not just humans, these adorably doe-eyed sloths deserve the best too, especially in their golden years. Wales’ Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo recognises this too, announcing its plans to house ‘retired’ ageing sloths previously on display at other zoos.
A comfortable retirement home will be provided for these furry mammals so they get to enjoy their silver years under extra TLC (tender, loving care). Furthermore, this also aids conservation efforts by other zoos to free up enclosure space for younger, breeding pairs. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, caring for them could help significantly extend their lifespan so they might age gracefully.
Tim Morphew, zoo curator of Folly Farms, shed light on the slow-moving animals: as humans do, sloths also experience symptoms of old age like aching muscles, creaking joints and slowing down. He also explained that sloths are very much like grumpy old people who may not get along.
To aid the sloths in the latter years of their lives, the keepers will ensure their food is boiled to make it softer and easier to digest. Supplements like cod liver oil will also be provided for these furry retirees. The zoo plans to look into making the enclosure more ‘elderly-friendly’ by deepening the floor and reducing the height of the branches to make it an easier climb.
Currently, it houses its first two residents, 24-year-old Tuppee (the pioneer resident who moved in in 2016) and 34-year-old Lightcap (who is currently the 5th oldest sloth in any European zoo). Pay Folly Farms a visit to see these two slow-moving retirees live their best (part of their) lives.