The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is officially on baby sloth watch.
A two-toed sloth is expected to be born soon to mother Lightning, 8 and father Moe, 21, and will mark the first ever newborn sloth both for the parents and for the zoo.
Zoo officials announced Monday that Lightning's birth watch is officially on. Zoo volunteers have begun watching her camera overnight to alert her care team of any signs of labor, and zoo keepers have prepared and baby-proofed her habitat.
Lightning first came to Cincinnati in 2019 on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) and was introduced to 21-year-old Moe, a wild-born rescue, in December of that year.
Moe has been at the zoo since 2006. This will be his first chance at fatherhood.
Lightning first became pregnant in October, and sloths have a 10 to 11-month gestation period, so the baby will likely be born sometime this fall.