After a months-long process, the baby sloth at Providence’s Roger Williams Park Zoo finally has a name: Beany.
Shortly after Beany’s birth on May 13, the zoo began a baby-naming contest, which also served as a fund-raiser. Ultimately, there were more than 1,000 names suggested, and the sloth fund-raiser raised $15,745 in donations to benefit the animals at the zoo.
In the end, the name “Beany” came out on top with 347 votes. It’s a perfect fit for the two-toed Linne’s sloth, who entered the world in the zoo’s “Faces of the Rainforest” exhibit. His mom is Fiona and his father is Wesley.
The name Beany honors Brenton Gaudreault, who was affectionately nicknamed “Beany” by his family. A lover of sloths, Gaudreault died in June at the age of 15 after a long battle with osteosarcoma. His mother, Mandy, submitted the name suggestion after seeing a news article about the zoo’s contest. Friends and family rallied around the effort to name the sloth Beany, donating and voting until the name won.
The zoo hopes Beany the sloth can help bring awareness to childhood cancer and honor Gaudreault’s memory.