Ararat Ridge Zoo

Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth

These upside-down oddities have an average speed of 13–15 feet per minute!


Behind-the-Scenes Sloth Experience

Meet our Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth up close during this unique behind-the-scenes experience!

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Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth

Day of Creation: six
Biblical Kind: sloth (includes all sloth species)
Status: least concern
Length: 2–2.5 feet
Weight: 10–20 pounds
Habitat: rainforests of southern Central and northern South America
Lifespan: 20–40 years
Diet: leaves, flowers, fruits
Family Life: solitary
Reproduction: single babies are born after 12-month gestations

Fun Facts

  • Sloths move slowly because of their extremely low metabolic rates, which are less than half of what is normal for other mammals their size.
  • They have very low body temperatures, ranging from 68–93°F.
  • Sloths are excellent swimmers and can reach swimming speeds of 44 feet per minute! When threatened, they may purposefully fall out of trees into bodies of water and then sink to the bottom for protection.
  • Sloths can slow their heart rates to less than 1/3 of what is normal, which allows them to hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes.
  • The hair on sloths grows from its underside to its back which allows water to flow off its body when hanging upside-down. Other animals grow hair from their back to their underside.
  • It can take up to a month for a sloth to complete its digestive process, and two-thirds of a sloth’s body weight can be just its stomach contents.
  • Sloth forelimbs are up to 50% longer than their hind limbs! Because their claws and weak hind limbs make it hard to move on the ground, sloths come down from the trees about once a week to defecate.
  • Muscle mass makes up only 25–30% of their weight, while the muscle mass of most other mammals makes up 40–45% of their weight.