Honey, Adventure Aquarium’s Linnaeus's Two-Toed Sloth
Wednesday morning, Honey, Adventure Aquarium’s Linnaeus's two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), began presenting avoidance behavior. Her breathing and heart rate were normal, but she was slightly bloated and was given oral medication to help relieve the bloat. Despite initial treatment, her symptoms worsened in the early afternoon and she was immediately taken off site to an animal hospital, where she was x-rayed and underwent a procedure to relieve the pressure. She responded positively to treatment and was transported back to Adventure Aquarium that evening for continued treatment and monitoring. Unfortunately, despite a team of internal and third-party experts closely monitoring Honey’s condition, she passed away shortly after.
A veterinary diagnostic lab was immediately notified and a full post-mortem exam is currently being conducted by a veterinary pathologist. Results of this independent examination are expected in the coming days.
“As an AZA accredited institution, we are dedicated to the health and wellbeing of animals, and continued scientific research,” said Adventure Aquarium’s on staff veterinarian, Dr. Peter DiGeronimo, MSc, Dipl. ACZM, board-certified veterinarian, in zoological medicine. “Since the sudden and unexpected loss of Molasses last October from gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), an acute gastrointestinal illness, we became engaged in research that could improve treatment options and outcomes for this type of illness. We’ve been working closely with peers across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, veterinary zoo nutritionists as well as seeking guidance from our AZA advisors. We plan to share our findings so we as an animal care community can use this opportunity to improve sloth husbandry and health.”
The absence of Honey is felt greatly by everyone at Adventure Aquarium and our guests who knew and loved her.
Adventure Aquarium has a dedicated team of 33 biologists, a certified veterinary technician and a board-certified veterinarian that provide exceptional care and daily training and enrichment for our animals. Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is held to the absolute highest standards in animal care. Achieving accreditation is a rigorous process with extremely high standards. It includes completing a comprehensive formal application and undergoing a thorough multiple day on-site inspection every five years, by a team of experts from around the country. Only elite institutions attain accreditation, with less than 10% of the 2,800 zoological institutions in the US achieving AZA-accreditation.