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Mississippi zoo welcomes new baby sloth named Maple

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi zoo has welcomed a new baby sloth named Maple.

The Hattiesburg Zoo announced the June 28 birth of the sloth on Thursday. Hattiesburg Convention Commission Executive Director Rick Taylor says Maple will become an ambassador animal for the zoo’s educational outreach programs when she’s older.

But for now, Taylor says the healthy baby two-toed Hoffman’s sloth will stay with her mother, Mo, and dad, Chewy, at the Asbury Discovery Center. Zoo Animal Care Manager Stephen Taylor says Maple was named after maple syrup in honor of her parents who were named after molasses and the “Star Wars” character Chewbacca.

Taylor says the zoo waited a few weeks before introducing Maple to the public to give the family time to acclimate.