MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo held a ribbon cutting to open the long-awaited Sloth Exhibit. 

There’s really nothing like them anywhere. Even their internal organs are positioned in different places to accommodate their lives of literally hanging upside down,” director for the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, Tom Pearson said.

The new exhibit features a male and a female. While the male was somewhat tired and sleeping in the night house, the female took charge and kept on with the show.

“I like sloths when they move, but I like them when they swim. They sleep during the day but they wake up at night,” said a visitor, Albert.

“I’ve never seen a sloth before. I mean, I’ve seen it in pictures, but not in real life. I just think it’s really cool. I’m really interested in nature. I have my own pet set at home,” added another visitor, Max.

Sloths are native to Central and South America. Their new home was especially designed to imitate their natural environment and was contributed by the Louisiana Purchase Zoo Society. 

“They are loving it. This is typical. The only thing I’m worried about is of course in the winter, but I made accommodations for them to have a heated night house and it stays humid etc,” explained Pearson. 

Pearson says they hope they can have sloth encounters for visitors by late June. 

“We will limit the size by 5-6 people. We don’t want it to be crowded. We want it to be a semi- private encounter with them. We’ll have an animal keeper in there that will be an expert on everything you wanted to know about sloths.” Added Pearson.

“It’s fantastic, I mean it’s our community, it’s where we work, it’s the community that supports us. but I also have young kids. I have a 12-year-old, a 9-year-old and a newborn so this is a pretty important place for us.” Explained Rafael, another visitor.