Singapore Zoo’s two-toed sloth Indigo gives birth to pup; becomes first-time mother

You can catch the pup and its mother ‘hanging around’ in the Fragile Forest biodome.

Tricia Kuan

A tiny coffee addict with a really weird frog obsession.

Published: 11 October 2022, 2:46 PM

The Linne’s two-toed sloth Indigo became a first-time mother after giving birth on Sep 18 at the Singapore Zoo, announced Mandai Wildlife Group on its Facebook post

In response to a query made by Youthopia, a Mandai Wildlife Group spokesperson clarified that the pup is still too young for its gender to be determined based on appearance, and as such it has yet to be named.

Like sloths in the wild, Indigo gave birth to her pup while hanging upside down.


According to the Mandai Wildlife Group, the pup proved to be a fast learner, suckling well and even beginning to experiment with solid feed in the first week of October. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


The Fragile Forest animal care team observed and assisted Indigo as she consumed her after-birth placenta, which provided the first-time mother with a much-needed nutritional boost after her delivery.

Now, Indigo and her pup can be found hanging around near a platform in the Fragile Forest biodome.

Every day, Indigo’s care team ensures that she is getting enough food to make up for the energy spent caring for her pup. A sloth’s diet consists of a variety of vegetables such as spinach, long beans and carrots.


Indigo’s newfound motherly duties consist of nursing and carrying her pup. GIF CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


The animal care team has kept interferences to a minimum, allowing Indigo and her pup to take it slow as they bond.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are managed by a studbook keeper as part of the European Studbook (ESB). The studbook keeper collects data on all the two-toed sloths from zoo and aquarium members of the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). 

Pairings are then made based on age and genetic value to ensure a healthy population of the species is maintained across zoological institutions. 

Indigo herself came to Singapore in August 2020 from Taipei Zoo, after being assessed as a suitable significant “sloth-er” for Singapore Zoo’s male Linne’s two-toed sloth, Bunny, who has been in the Fragile Forest for 10 years.


While sloths seem to spend fur-ever in trees, the only time they can be found on the ground is once a week when defecating. GIF CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


To get a glimpse of Indigo and her new pup, swing by the Fragile Forest biodome between 9am to 10.30am, where Indigo can be found attending her first feeding of the day at the observation deck.

Visitors are advised to keep their volume down around the animals for a better chance of observing them going about their normal routines comfortably. They should also refrain from touching the animals in the biodome.

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