Free-ranging southern two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus) were translocated during the flooding of a forest at a hydroelectric dam site in French Guiana. Over an 11 mo period blood samples were collected from 90 sloths (38 males, 52 females) in order to determine hematological and serum chemistry reference values. Mean values and range of values were calculated for 13 hematological and 21 serum chemistry parameters. Variations associated with sex, age, and reproductive status were identified. Males had a significantly lower red blood cell count than females. Immature animals had more monocytes while adults had more neutrophils and higher mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. Aspartate aminotransferase and triglyceride values were higher in young than in adult sloths but uric acid was lower. Lactating females showed lower red blood cells count and iron levels than non-lactating females. These profiles will help to provide reliable baseline data for medical evaluation of sloths.
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Vol. 35 • No. 3