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Animals Up Close: Two-Toed Sloth

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) - This edition of Animals Up Close is pretty sweet. 

Sweet Pea the two-toed sloth that is! 

The Linne's two-toed sloth certainly lived up to her name. She was happy to "hang around" and teach the contest winners all about her species from South America. 

 "She has horrible table manners, so she's gonna chew with her mouth open," said Mindi White, Curator of Animals at the Oglebay Good Zoo, when she introduced the group to Sweet Pea. 

Although she may chew a little loudly, give Sweet Pea a pass because after all she could have just woken up from a nap. 

"These guys sleep between 15 and 18 house a day then they get up and start rocking and rolling late at night,' White explained.  

Sweet Pea also may have a hard time seeing, because sloths don't have the best eyesight. 

"They technically should be wearing glasses," White continued. "A lot of times what they'll do is they'll pull things into their face so they can see what it is."

Their hearing though is much better. 

Chances are if you see Sweet Pea she's hanging like this. 

"They go on trees a lot," said Animals Up Close winner Dakota Young. "The algae starts to grow on their skin and turns their fur green." 

"They don't get dizzy when they hang upside down," added Ava Stewart. 

They were joined in the encounter by Madelyn Young and Brentlee Guyer. 

Sloths typically hang upside down, which has some effects on their fur. 

"The lowest part in her body is back here where all her fur is, where all the fur grows to, and that's to help her sluff the rain off," White taught the group of contest winners. "If we would look at her fur under a microscope, her fur actually has ridges that runs along it and what that helps with is water repellent."

The fir also helps camouflage when teh two-toed sloth is in the trees.  

Another interesting fact, the nose is the only part of the two-toed sloth that can sweat. 

Sweet Pea is able to hang on people or on trees with help from her feet. 

"She has two nails on her hands and three on her toes," remembered Dakota Young. 

And Sweet Pea will happily hang around for her favorite yams, or the leaves she would eat in the wild. 

TAG: The Oglebay Good Zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m on the weekends. 

You can book an up-close encounter with Sweet Pea the Linne's two-toed sloth or other animals at the zoo by calling 304-243-4100 or visit oglebay.com/good-zoo


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