Home Lifestyle Cincinnati Zoo renames sloth habitat after late 1-year-old who loved sloths

Cincinnati Zoo renames sloth habitat after late 1-year-old who loved sloths

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The sloth habitat at Ohio’s Cincinnati Zoo will be named after a toddler who died earlier this year.

Alyssa and Alex Nicholson had originally started a petition to have the zoo name one of its newborn sloths after their late son, Oliver. The toddler’s favorite stuffed animal was a sloth and he would sleep with it every night.

The Cincinnati Zoo decided to name the sloth habitat after Oliver when the newborn sloth was delivered stillborn.
(Alex Nicholson)

The Cincinnati Zoo decided to name the sloth habitat after Oliver when the newborn sloth was delivered stillborn, the zoo announced Oct. 11 – which would have been Oliver’s 2nd birthday.

“Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will memorialize Oliver Nicholson, who passed away earlier this year and would have been two years old today, by renaming its sloth habitat “The Oliver Nicholson Memorial Sloth Habitat,”” the zoo stated in a news release.

Fox News previously reported that the Nicholsons got the idea to request the animal be named Oliver after their son’s funeral, where several loved ones pointed out the zoo was expecting a new sloth to be born.

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Oliver had been born with a set of birth defects known as VACTERL. Among other conditions, this resulted in Oliver only being born with one hand and two fingers.

Oliver and his twin brother, Atticus, were born prematurely in October 2019. Oliver had surgery in January to connect his esophagus and his stomach. His mom and dad got him a toy sloth during his recovery and discovered the stuffed animal with two toes resembled their baby boy.

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Oliver Nicholson's parents had given him a stuffed sloth after one of his surgeries.

Oliver Nicholson’s parents had given him a stuffed sloth after one of his surgeries.
(Alex Nicholson)

“He adored that sloth stuffed animal. He would sleep with him every night. We had a giant ‘hang in there’ sloth balloon in his hospital room, all of the nurses loved it,” Alex told Fox News, adding, “He was always so calm, and so patient; and so happy to be here.” 

Oliver died after undergoing a routine procedure to check his esophagus led to bleeding around his heart and he was unable to recover. 

“We lost him very suddenly,” Alex said.

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“He was here for 16 months, he left us very soon and he left me with more life lessons than I could have ever taught him – it had to be so that I could help others I think that’s how we feel,” Alex added.

FOX News’ Jeanette Settembre contributed to this report.

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