Archive: Extreme Makeover: Homer Edition

Hoffman’s two-toed sloth moves into new home at the Detroit Zoo

March 30, 2017

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

Homer, a 25-year-old male Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, has moved from the Detroit Zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center into renovated digs across campus. Homer’s new nook, located near the snow monkeys and rhinos, features densely planted greenery, a stream, skylights and – best of all – his favorite tree from his former habitat.

“The tree is familiar to Homer so he can cozy up in his new place in the comfort of his old tree,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). “Homer is a favorite of Detroit Zoo visitors and his new habitat should make it easier for guests to spot him.”

The Hoffman’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is an herbivorous mammal with shaggy, grayish-brown fur that grows from the abdomen to the back, allowing rainwater to repel from its coat. It grows to about 24 to 27 inches long and weighs around 17 pounds. The sloth has two long nails that curve at the top on its front feet and three on its hind feet.

The Hoffman’s two-toed sloth is native to rainforests in Central and South America. Although it is not an endangered species, deforestation and other forms of habitat destruction are its biggest threats.

Homer’s former habitat in the Immersion Gallery in the National Amphibian Conservation Center – his home since he arrived at the Detroit Zoo in 2000 – is being remodeled to provide a more spacious habitat for the Japanese giant salamanders.