A Sloth’s Journey - Part Two

Written By:Vince Covino

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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.

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