PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Babies of any species need proper care and love to flourish and grow.
At the National Aviary on the North Side Thursday, it was check-up day for their newest addition, the baby two-toed sloth named Valentino.
The little one is getting used to his new digs.
For his five-month check-up, Valentino was weighed, measured and checked over to make sure he is meeting his milestones.
“He weighs about three-and-a-half pounds, and when he first came onboard here, he was just two pounds,” said National Aviary’s Director of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Pilar Fish. “He’s growing really, really well.”
Eventually, he will grow to be about 15 to 20 pounds.
Valentino was purchased from a breeder in Florida and has been living at the National Aviary since Feb. 8. So why a sloth when the Aviary features mostly birds?
“He gives us a chance to help talk about the needs of protecting the environment and the rain forest, which our little sloth Valentino’s wild counterparts call home,” said National Aviary Director of Marketing Robin Weber.
The sloth is being hand-raised with the expectation he will be used to participate in educational programs.
“Valentino has already started on some training here at the Aviary, pairing experiences with food,” National Aviary Behavioral Management Curator Cathy Schlott said.
But what does Valentino eat? Well, his favorite dish is spinach, but he also likes rice, sweet potatoes as well as eggs, which is something he would have gotten in the wild by stealing from birds’ nests.
Valentino is currently on display for the public to see at the Avian Care Center window during his twice daily feeding times at noon and 4 p.m. For more information on Valentino and visiting the National Aviary, visit their website here.
Visitors can also book a private 30-minute encounter to learn more about him.