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50-year-old sloth in German zoo dubbed world's oldest

By
Ben Hooper
Paula, a two-toed sloth living at the Halle Zoo in Saxony-Anhalt, was officially recognized as the oldest living sloth in the world after making it to 50 years old. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records
Paula, a two-toed sloth living at the Halle Zoo in Saxony-Anhalt, was officially recognized as the oldest living sloth in the world after making it to 50 years old. Photo courtesy of Guinness World Records

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Guinness World Records announced a 50-year-old sloth living in a German zoo is officially the oldest-known member of her species.

The record-keeping organization said Paula, a two-toed sloth, was caught wild in South America and was estimated to be at least 2 years old when she was brought to the Halle Zoo in Saxony-Anhalt in 1971.

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Officials said sloths typically live about 20 years in the wild, and average 30-40 years in captivity.

"Paula is still fine, but you can see she is old," Jutta Heuer, a zoo curator and an authority on sloths in Europe, told Guinness. "The hair is light and not so compact. The claws grow in different ways -- the same as with elderly people. Of course, she moves slowly and is very relaxed."

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