National Aviary
On permanent view
Various times

The National Aviary is not just for the birds anymore. You likely saw his tiny, furry face plastered on the television news when he arrived ceremoniously at the Allegheny County Airport and captured hearts around the globe—and now the wait to visit the Aviary’s newest resident is over.

Courtesy of National Aviary
Courtesy of National Aviary

Born to a breeder in Fort Lauderdale, the three-month-old Linnaeus two-toed sloth is the latest adorable creature to join the permanent flock at the Aviary. Pittsburgh sloth fans can now get a first glimpse of the baby and watch his first public feedings through the window of the Avian Care Center as he is being nurtured during his first few months of life.

For those craving more personal quality sloth time, get out those calendars now. Beginning on March 25th, sloth encounters can be booked for once-daily, 30-minute sessions at 2 p.m. During a private encounter, up to five people will have the chance to touch, feed and take pictures with the sloth. Participants will also learn all about sloth conservation, and the unique species’ native habitat in the rainforests of Central and South America, which these mammals share with many of the birds from around the world cared for at the Aviary. Spots are already filling up quickly for the new sloth encounters, so book your session soon.

Courtesy of National Aviary
Courtesy of National Aviary

The two-pound, 10-inch long baby sloth (aka choloepus didactylus) is being hand-raised by trainers to be comfortable around people and participate in educational programs that will highlight rainforest species and the dangers they face from rapidly disappearing habitats and human population growth. With their arboreal lifestyle, sloths make for the perfect addition to the Aviary’s collection.

In the Aviary’s hospital, the new arrival is being fed every two hours as the veterinary staff prepares him for his role as an animal ambassador for remarkable ecosystem and species of the rainforest.

But what’s his name, you ask? The Aviary has just launched an online eBay auction, where the public can bid on the chance to name the baby sloth while also supporting the organization’s conservation work.

Sloth fans can also contribute to the sloth’s online baby shower with a gift in any amount that will help cover the cost of his care. Yes, you can even put your money toward a baby blanket, plush toy or heating pad for the little wonder.

Need more sloths in your life? While at the Aviary you can also pop in to see Wookiee, a 15-year-old sloth who arrived in 2007 and resides year-round in the Cloud Forest exhibit.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in February feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.