A Sloth’s Journey - Part THREE

Read the conclusion of the story about Perry and new baby Sydney!  

Perry is now able to crawl around…

It’s been a few weeks since the feeding tube was removed and Perry is thriving! She has regained strength and energy, allowing her to eat better and get great exercise. Though she is not nearly as graceful as before, she can flop her arms and limbs over the bar or branches, showing her willingness to climb again.  Last week, for the first time since she got sick, she was able to scratch her head with her foot successfully! We are seeing Perry improve a bit more with each passing day. Getting regular practice at her jungle gym at Dr. Ford’s house, she is more eager to play and crawl outside. Though she is not able to climb trees solely on her own, with extensive therapy we anticipate she could be back to normal in due time.

Perry shines her bright eyes to the camera as Baby Sydney snuggles up

Baby Sydney is a happy, healthy little guy...

With so much concern surrounding Perry and her health condition, it was natural for all of us to worry if baby Sydney would be okay. All new babies crave the nurture and care of their mom, but because Perry had been unable to give full attention to Sydney, we were concerned about how that would affect Sydney’s own growth and progress. However, he has never had any issues! Not only has he been surrounded with oodles of love from the staff and the medical team, but Dr. Ford also made sure that Sydney got plenty of one on one time with Mom whenever they had the chance!  He became very attached to Dr. Ford and her husband while living with them, and was spoiled with lots of toys and treats during mom Perry’s recovery.  

Baby Sydney plays with his new stuffed toy

Perry is doing great with her water therapy!

A few weeks ago, Perry began her water therapy sessions at the Sierra Ranch Pet Rehab center in Roseville, California. We made sure to make a special trip to Folsom just to be there for Perry’s first appointment and we were joined by the film crew for our new reality TV show Fishy Bidness! Set to premiere Friday, November 10th on YouTube, Fishy Bidness! Got to see all of Perry’s recovery.  Perry did great! The staff at the rehab center did a thorough evaluation of her case and created a custom therapy plan for Perry. These sessions have helped Perry improve both mobility and muscle movement. Now that Perry is on the path to a full recovery, she and Sydney have been able to return to her SeaQuest home exhibit, where she will get to visit with guests and visitors again very soon!  Visit the SeaQuest Folsom website  for times and availability to have a special encounter with Perry and baby Sydney!

Perry in her water therapy session at Sierra Ranch Pet Rehab Center in Roseville, CA

Stay Tuned for the Exclusive story on Perry and Sydney!

Our new reality show Fishy Bidness! Will feature a three-part series on Perry’s journey. Make sure to follow our SeaQuest Folsom Facebook page for updates on series news and episode premieres. 

Learn more about SeaQuest, our animals and VIP Specials when you sign up here!

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A Sloth’s Journey - Part Two

Perry and new baby Sydney’s story continues in part two; keep reading to find out how their story concludes. 

Sadly Perry still had no use of her hands...

After the surgery to give Perry a feeding tube, she needed round the clock care. Dr. Samantha Ford and her husband, Trevor, took Perry to their home, where she would live with Dr. Ford full time to get plenty of rest for recovery. Since Perry was a new mama, she could not be separated from Sydney for long. Sydney joined her mom at the Ford's. Over the months that Perry and Sydney stayed with Dr. Ford, they faced a grueling recovery. Perry would receive her liquid food and medications through her feeding tube at least twice per day. To get her arms and legs moving, Perry had strict regimented physical therapy sessions with Dr. Ford. Slowly over the course of her stay, she began to improve and was able to start eating small amounts of solid food on her own.

"The first time she ate a grape… I absolutely bawled my eyes out!" says Dr. Ford. It had been such a long road for everyone involved. To see Perry come from the brink of death to her finally being able to eat solid food again, it was an emotional experience the team at SeaQuest Folsom will never forget.

Dr. Ford with Perry and baby Sydney

We built Perry and Sydney an in-home jungle gym...

In order to keep both Sydney and Perry active and thriving, they needed to have an environment setup similar to the trees or limbs they would normally climb in the wild. Dr. Ford and her husband took great care to build an in-home jungle gym out of PVC pipe to keep the pair active. What a difference it makes having individualized daily care. This one-on-one care allowed Dr. Ford the ability to work with Perry on building muscle strength and getting grip back into her limbs and forearms. Sydney took advantage of the new jungle gym toy and loved spending time swinging through the pipes. Part of the development process for a baby sloth is to climb and roam trees with their Mama. This allows mommy sloth to teach her baby how to move which contributes to their growth and survival in the wild. Since Perry was unable to climb with Sydney, the jungle gym at Dr. Ford’s house became Sydney’s own paradise of fun! Trevor and Dr. Ford took it upon themselves to help Sydney with learning to grip and climb.  Both mom and baby were getting the best attention and individualized care possible.

Baby sloth Sydney plays on his jungle gym

 

She immediately started eating better!

Finally, some good news! After two months Perry was strong enough to have the feeding tube removed, dramatically improving her progress. We could tell Perry was feeling better! She immediately started eating solid foods, though they were smaller portions. She also began to have her lovely personality back. Though Perry can be a bit sassy, she was upbeat and moving along nicely. After all this time, she could finally crawl and go out on her own for some playtime in the dirt, or when mealtime would come around. Missing her mom, Sydney also enjoyed having her back. Though not at 100% yet, Perry was able to give more nurture and love to Sydney than she could before. As any typical baby animal would be, Sydney was so attached and dependent on mom that he overwhelmed her a bit. Taking some much needed "Mom Time," Perry would separate from Sydney for a few minutes just to give herself time to rest. Baby sloths are active in their own way, and while Perry is definitely a protective mama, even mom's need a quick break from their kids from time to time! 

More to come in Part Three!

Mama sloth Perry and baby Sydney get some playtime in the sunshine

Follow Perry’s journey and visit her home exhibit!

Our new reality show Fishy Bidness! Will feature a three-part series on Perry’s journey. Make sure to follow our SeaQuest Folsom Facebook page for updates on series news and episode premieres. 

Lastly, visit SeaQuest in Folsom, CA to see mama Perry and baby Sydney. While you’re there, learn about the SeaQuest Cares initiative, which explores wildlife preservation and conservation efforts.

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A Sloth’s Journey - Part One

One of the most unique and fascinating creatures on our planet, the Sloth has grown in popularity as a “favorite” among animal lovers. And at our Folsom SeaQuest our gentle and loving two-toed sloth, Perry, is more than just a favorite. She and her baby, Sydney, have come a long way since they first arrived here. This has been a tough year for most everyone, but Perry’s journey to becoming a new mom and her postpartum experience will tug at anyone’s heartstrings.

We began to notice Perry had been gaining weight...

In September of 2019, our animal care team became a bit concerned when they saw that Perry was putting on some extra weight, despite her very controlled diet. At the time, our Vet felt it was normal and that Perry may need more exercise. As months progressed, we just knew something was not right. Then on December 30th, our morning team was making their rounds and saw something in Perry’s exhibit that shouldn’t be there. In the middle of the night, a new baby sloth was born! We named the baby Sydney, in honor of the fires that were ravaging Australia at the time. It turns out Perry had been pregnant all along, and our former Vet wasn’t aware. Wanting to get the best health care for Perry and baby Sydney, we immediately sought new veterinary services - and found Dr. Samantha Ford, who was a wonderful addition to our SeaQuest family.

New mama sloth Perry (left), and baby sloth Sydney (right)

She couldn’t move her legs or grip onto anything....

Months later, SeaQuest Folsom was closed due to the CoVid 19 shutdown across the country. Again, during a morning check, we saw Perry up in her basket with little Sydney, but she didn’t look quite right. Her eyes seemed glossed over, her arms were flailing and she couldn’t move on her own at all. We immediately called Dr. Ford, who rushed over to do an examination. When she arrived, Perry was distressed but Dr. Ford gave her fluids and vitamins. With little outward signs of injury, Dr. Ford felt the best thing would be to take Perry and baby Sydney to the clinic for observation for the next few days. In case something were to happen, she would have immediate medical care.  

Perry in surgery

We had little hope that she would survive....

That week Perry’s condition worsened and the outlook was grim. Dr. Ford was very concerned about her disorientation, inability to eat, and severe lethargy. She began to have minor tremors in her muscles (no seizures, thankfully) but no grip in her hands, and within days no movement in her limbs.  We were so worried we would lose her. Dr. Ford said the only option to give any chance for survival would be to give Perry a feeding tube. Typically, these types of surgeries for animals like Perry are extremely risky. We had little hope she would survive just the anesthesia. However, we learned she did great! Perry’s long road ahead with a feeding tube would be hard for her, for little baby Sydney, and for her SeaQuest family who were desperately hoping both mommy and baby would be back home soon. Stay tuned for Part Two!

Perry recovering at the vet clinic
Perry after her feeding tube surgery.

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