A baby Two-toed Sloth at the London Zoo has two special friends: a zoo keeper and a stuffed toy Sloth to cuddle with.
Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo
The baby, born in June to second-time parents Marilyn and Leander, needed a helping hand when his mother stopped producing milk and was unable to care for her infant.
Keepers have named the young male Edward after the character Edward Scissorhands, due to his impressive claws, which will grow up to four inches in length and enable him to cling on and climb easily through the trees in his habitat.
To help strengthen Edward’s little limbs, keepers fitted his Sloth-teddy with carabiners so that it can be hung from a branch, enabling the youngster to cling the same way he would with mom.
Edward gets a bottle of goat’s milk every three hours, but, befitting the notoriously slow nature of Sloths, keepers sometimes have to wait for him to stir from a deep slumber before feeding can begin. When Edward is hungry, he lets keepers know by emitting a loud, sneeze-like squeak.
Detailed records are maintained on everything the infant does, including eating , sleeping, and even Edward’s potty-habits. Sloths leave their high tree-top habitats only once a week to go to the toilet, so by keeping track of his poop, Edward’s keepers can account for any weight losses or gains.
Two-toed Sloths are slow-moving, tree-dwelling, nocturnal herbivores, found in tropical forests in Central and South America. Sloths are strong swimmers and can drop from a tree branch into a river to swim across it. When sleeping, Sloths often curl up in a ball in the fork of a tree.