Sloths paired up at the Honolulu Zoo

By Ashley Moser
Published On: Feb 14 2014 08:49:39 PM HST

A long time male sloth at Honolulu Zoo has a new girlfriend named Harriet, a four year old, two-toed sloth all the way from Peru.

HONOLULU -

Harriet is a 4-year-old three-toed sloth all the way from Peru.  Her visit here to the islands has just become a permanent one all thanks to love!

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"We've had a male sloth at the zoo for many years now and actually it wasn't until recently that we were able to find him a girlfriend," said Dr. Baird Fleming, the assistant zoo director.

But on this Valentine's Day, no roses, no box of chocolates.  Just fruit!

Fleming says sloths are vegetarians and would eat a lot of leaves in the wild.  The zoo also gives them food like apples.

"They're very strong animals," said Fleming.  "They are physically slow movers, but it's really very deceiving."

It's because they spend all of their time upside down.  Fleming says they're actually pretty fast.  He says the pressure of their claws are so strong that if they don't want to let go, they won't!

The sloth's coat of coarse hair really protects them from predators.

"That under layer helps her deal with ants.  Because these guys are moving so slowly, they'll go through an ant pile in a tree and so they have to rely on their natural defenses, meaning what they've got, body armor, to keep those ants away."

Fleming says even though their hair is truly unmistakable, it's not always easy to see them because they are rainforest animals that rely on stealth abilities to stay away from predators.

"Unfortunately, in the wild, these guys are prime pickings for harpy eagles," said Fleming.

So, whether you think sloths are slow and lazy or cuddly and cute, at the Honolulu Zoo, they're about to get romantic!

Harriet and her boyfriend Cuando are on permanent display at the Honolulu Zoo.  Their keepers say they haven't accepted each other as mates just yet, but with this type of love, they say it'll take some time.

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