Try this: Sloth encounter at the Louisville Zoo

Get up close and personal with these serial chillers.

Louisville Zoo Sloth Encounter

Lennie petted Sunni, a four-year-old Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth.

Photo by LOUtoday

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Hi, City Editor Lennie here.

When I heard the Louisville Zoo was offering Sloth Encounters, I made sure I was online as soon as the experiences went on sale back in August. Fortunately, my quick clicking paid off and I was able to snag tickets. Since then, time has seemed to move as slow as a sloth, but March finally arrived and I got to hang with Sunni, the zoo’s four-year-old, two-toed sloth. The experience consisted of three parts:

🦥 Orientation

An educator took our group of four into a room to talk all things sloth. We discussed how they hang onto branches for so long (their holds are skeletal, not muscular), and how they have the slowest digestive rate of any mammal. Zookeepers track their poops on a calendar to make sure they’re taking care of business about once every three weeks.

🦥 Meal prep

Next, we made a salad for Sunni by slicing and measuring out half-ounce portions of squash, carrots, apples, and more.

🦥 Meet and greet

Finally, the part everyone had been waiting for. The zookeeper offered Sunni the meal we’d made, waiting for her to “signal” that she was open to seeing us. Luckily, she gradually made her way to her special branch for receiving guests, and one by one, we slowly and quietly gave her gentle pets while she noshed on fruits and veggies.

A sloth the at Louisville Zoo enjoys her salad.

Sunni enjoyed her salad, made with freshly cut fruits and veggies.

Video by LOUtoday

I loved learning that meeting people is up to Sunni — if she’s not feelin’ it, no one is forcing her.

The experience was the most fun I’ve had at any zoo, and word on the street is penguin encounters might be next. I’ll be following @LouisvilleZooOfficial for updates.

Sloth Encounters are sold out through August, but you can spot Sunni and her friends in their enclosure across the flamingos.

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