Search

Baby sloth born at London Zoo after parents ‘secret’ rendezvous

Marilyn shares a moment with her newborn (Picture by Tony Bates / ZSL)

Marilyn shares a moment with her newborn (Picture by Tony Bates / ZSL)

Archant

A sloth born at London Zoo has surprised keepers who had no idea its parents had taken a liking to each other.

The sloth baby peers out from under a branch (Picture by Tony Bates / ZSL)The sloth baby peers out from under a branch (Picture by Tony Bates / ZSL)

These lovely pictures show two-toed sloth Marilyn cradling her new arrival, conceived rather more quickly than anticipated with her beau Leander.

Leander was flown in from Germany to be Marilyn’s mate but keepers were not expecting fireworks quite so soon.

Two-toed sloths have been known to take nearly a decade to form a pair bond and breed, but factoring in an estimated 11-month pregnancy, it appears Marilyn and Leander were far from slow off the mark, taking six months to successfully mate.

Staff at the zoo had no idea the pair had acknowledged each other, but while they were playing it cool in public it seems that after hours the “sneaky” sloths had hit it off.

Two-toed sloth Marilyn with her baby. (Picture by Tony Bates / ZSL)Two-toed sloth Marilyn with her baby. (Picture by Tony Bates / ZSL)

Zookeeper Tegan McPhail said: “To say we were surprised when Marilyn fell pregnant is something of an understatement - we weren’t aware that she’d even been near the male.

“When Leander arrived at the zoo at the end of 2012, he and Marilyn just didn’t appear particularly interested in each other, but we knew that with sloths these things can take some time.

“However, with the arrival of the first sloth to be born at ZSL London Zoo, it appears that it was all an act on their behalf and our two very sneaky sloths were getting amorous behind our backs.”

Keepers do not know the sex of the new arrival, which is spending its days clinging on to Marilyn, and will not be able to tell if it is a boy or a girl until it is scanned by vets as there are no external differences between males and females.

Sloths are slow-moving, tree-dwelling, nocturnal animals which feed on plants in their native tropical forests in Central and South America.

They have long, sharp claws, good for hanging from trees, but making walking laborious. Sloths are strong swimmers and can drop from trees into a river to swim across it.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 00:18
Camden's desire to remain in the EU placed it at odds with the nation's clear choice to leave

As the nation woke up to a political earthquake, campaigners in Camden and Haringey began to process the disconnect between the north London desire to remain in the European Union and the country’s decisive choice for Brexit.

Fri, 17:29
Camden Town Hall in Judd Street

A dozen Camden Council employees have been dismissed in the past year because they did not have the right to work in the UK, a report has revealed.

Another employee resigned whilst one was suspended due to right to work in the UK issues.

Camden has voted to remain in the European Union

Camden and Haringey voters have opted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union.

Thu, 22:00
EU referendum polling station at Keat’s Community Library, Keat’s Grove Hampstead NW3

After all the campaigning, the polls have finally closed for the EU referendum.

Thu, 17:17
London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer on the Referendum Day campaign trail in Camden

As the nation went to the polls this morning, Labour’s big hitters - including leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan - took to the streets of Haringey and Camden in a last-ditch bid to persuade voters to remain in the EU.

Thu, 07:00
The results of the EU referendum are not expected before 7am tomorrow Friday

Britain will go to the polls today to vote on whether or not to remain in the EU.

Wed, 20:24
Yiannoulla Yianni was raped and murdered

A teenage schoolgirl was brutally raped and strangled by a builder who forced his way into her home and overpowered her after a violent struggle -in a case which has remained unsolved for “half-a-lifetime,” a court heard.

Wed, 15:24
Rita Ora home in Kensal Rise was burgled (pic: PA)

Rita Ora bravely protected her sister and threatened to “f*** up” a thief in a £200,000 raid on the singer’s home in Kensal Rise, a court has heard.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe