PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The newest resident of the National Aviary flew into the Allegheny County Airport Monday afternoon on a private jet. But instead of wings, this one is covered with fur.
A private jet taxis to a stop, as camera wielding papparazi gather to capture the arrival of a star. First to exit the plane are Cathy Schlott and Dr. Pilar Fish of the National Aviary, escorting a valuable cargo.
“Today, as you know, we are welcoming the baby sloth that has just flowin in from Florida,” Aviary executive director Cheryl Tracy announced.
It’s a two-toed sloth, to be exact, the second sloth to take up residence on the North Side.
“He is a representative not only of sloths, but the rain forest they live in, in Central and South America,” said Dr. Fish, veterinary director at the Aviary.
A statement from the National Aviary says that the sloth will “play an integral role in outreach and education programs and as an ambassador for rainforest species.”
The slow moving mammal is a stark contrast to the high flying birds that trainer Cathy Schlott has taught in her thirteen years at the Aviary.
“Once you’re a good solid trainer, and you understand the techniques, all you have to do then is start to learn the individual behavior of the other kind of animal, and study up on their behaviors, and you can train anything,” she said.
But the question must be asked. Is the sloth a slow learner?
“I think he’s going to be a quick learner, but a slow mover,” the trainer laughed.
The sloth will be visible to the public beginning on Feb. 12 through the Avian Care Center.
More details on the sloth will be available Monday evening.