Raising Xeno

Published October 05, 2010

Last spring, one of our adult female sloths, Rose, unexpectedly passed away, leaving her 8-week-old baby orphaned. We were all saddened by the loss of Rose, and very worried that baby Xeno had lost his mother.

At the Aquarium, we typically respect the natural process of life by letting mothers care for their babies as much as possible. Because young sloths remain dependent on their mothers for food and comfort during their first year of life, our animal care staff knew that Xeno was going to need extra special care in order to grow into a successful adult sloth.

For the past several months, the Rain Forest staff and Animal Care team have come together to give little Xeno the best chance of survival, which meant round-the-clock care that included a special diet, daily veterinary checkups and even some coddling, because baby sloths physically cling to their mothers. Words alone can't describe how much love and care was put into helping Xeno grow! The video below shares our amazing story of raising Xeno:

Xeno is now 7 months old and is continuing to develop into a strong and healthy sloth. Our staff is no longer handling Xeno. He is currently living in a new enclosure in the Aquarium's Rain Forest that will help introduce him to the environment. We are cautiously optimistic that he will soon join our other two-toed sloths as a permanent resident in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest!

The costs of food, medicine and a knowledgeable staff to care for more than 16,000 animals add up quickly. You can help us continue to provide the best-quality care for animals like Xeno. » Donate now

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Calypso header Remembering Calypso

We’re looking back at Calypso’s incredible life and reflecting on the many ways she impacted the lives of those who knew her best.

Read the full story

octo header No Hands? No Problem: Tool Use Among Aquatic Animals

Aquatic animals are resourceful—just like humans, when they can’t solve a problem, they can look to the world around them ... and fashion tools!  

Read the full story

Related Stories

It's a ... SLOTH! Meet the Rain Forest's Newest Addition!

Published December 16, 2013

A baby boom in DC

Published February 02, 2010