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Refurbished Rainforest House reopens with new “Sloth Snug”

Date: 6 April 2023

Refurbished Rainforest House reopens with new “Sloth Snug”

Enrique and Priscita, the Linne’s two-toed sloths, have been exploring their new “Sloth Snug” in the Rainforest House. The Sloth Snug is a specially adapted area for the sloths, which they will share with the red-footed tortoises. There are plenty of branches for them to climb along, and visitors will have a great view into their snug.

Last year Belfast Zoo welcomed Priscita to join Enrique and the staff are hoping for a slow burn romance between the two. Two-toed sloths are native to Central and South America. They spend the majority of their lives upside down, in the trees. These unusual animals eat, sleep, mate and give birth from their position high among the branches in the rainforest.

The Rainforest House refurbishments also include the addition of a new heating system designed to mimic the temperature and conditions of the rainforest. This project has involved a huge effort from the keeping and gardening teams at Belfast Zoo. The updates have also benefited from the collaboration of Friends of the Zoo and Botanic Gardens.

Friends of the Zoo is a registered charity created by a group of community volunteers over 25 years ago, whose fundraising and volunteering was a great help to this project. Botanic Gardens have donated all of the new plants and trees, which the gardening team at Belfast Zoo planted. These additions help the variety of species, from Sclater’s crowned pigeon and sunbitterns to red-footed tortoises and sloths, feel at home in their habitat.

Zoo Manager, Alyn Cairns, said “This is an exciting development for the zoo and we appreciate the efforts of everyone who has come together to create this new and improved space. Sloths are one of our most popular species with visitors and we are delighted to introduce this specially adapted sloth area at Belfast Zoo.”

There'll be an egg-stra special Easter event at Belfast Zoo on Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 April, where visitors can explore the Rainforest House, complete an Easter trail and meet walkabout characters.