Drusillas Park in Alfriston has been running a competition to rename their sloth Consuela. Last week, the zoo discovered that their lovely lady was keeping something extra tucked safely away…Consuela, it turns out, is actually a boy. The competition results are now in, and Drusillas is proud to announce that the winning name is Gordon.
There was an overwhelming response to the Park’s call for help, with over 2,000 people submitting suggestions. There were some fantastic entries, and names such as ‘David Hasslesloth’, ‘John Slow’, ‘Nigel’ and ‘Sid’ ranked among the best.
The winning entry came from Lorna French-Gietzen, from Eastbourne, who carefully picked out ‘Gordon’ to compliment the name of Drusillas’ other resident sloth, Flash.
Lorna commented, “This is amazing; my girls will be so excited! We will come and see you very soon Gordon! I never thought we would win!”
It’s very hard to determine the gender of a sloth, as there is virtually no difference between males and females. In fact, it is so hard to tell their sex, it’s actually quicker to send a fur sample off for DNA testing than it is for zoo keepers to try and work it out for themselves.
Drusillas’ Head Keeper, Mark Kenward, had his suspicions for a while that Consuela wasn’t female. He commented, “Unlike the large majority of animal species, sloths display almost no sexual dimorphism whatsoever. This means that they look pretty much identical, therefore making it almost impossible to tell which gender is which.”
Mark continued, “We are thrilled to be able to give him a new and much manlier name. Gordon certainly seemed pleased when we told him his new name this morning! We love the irony of our two slowest animals being named after the fastest man himself. Flash Gordon – brilliant!”
Gordon was originally supposed to join Drusillas’ other male sloth, Sophocles, as his mate. However, now he is showing a strong and unsurprising interest in the ladies, Gordon will remain living with Flash. Drusillas are very hopeful that the two will breed over the coming years, particularly now they have had the time to form such a strong bond.