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Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls Zoo says goodbye to sloth bears

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - It was a bittersweet weekend at the Idaho Falls Zoo, with two cubs time at the zoo coming to a close.

Sloth bears Molly and Tess were born in Idaho falls about a year and a half ago and now will make their journey to the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas.

"That's actually where Priya, their mom came from," said zookeeper Ashley Cram. "So, it's kind of full circle. We’re gonna get cubs back and to kansas, so people can learn about them and their story."

Idaho Falls is one of many accredited zoos in the United States that implements a species survival plan, which looks at the genetics of each animal to help determine the diversity needed at the zoo.

"They let us know hey you should have those two breed," Cram said. "Hey, we don't have anywhere for those two to go, so maybe hold off this year, and so they make sure that everything runs really smoothly, and we don't get like a bottleneck effect or any inbreeding or anything going on in our zoos."

Sloth bears are originally from India and are thought to be related to sloths due to their really long claws.

While the journey for Molly and Tess is over in Idaho Falls, their life journey is just getting started.

"I think they're really gonna have a good time at another zoo and kind of excited for their adventure," Cram said.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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