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

38 minutes ago

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

The breakfast supervisor, who worked for the chain since 1996, has also received a written apology after being ‘bullied and harassed’

Change is afoot in Highgate as a consultation on a new Neighbourhood Plan opens

Hampstead High Street and Muswell Hill Broadway could lose their Maison Blanc stores under a review that has been launched into the high-end patisserie chain.

07:00

Crime campaigners fear gang warfare is spilling onto the leafy streets of Hampstead and Belsize Park after two shootings and a knife attack this month.

Yesterday, 14:39

Staff will trace Lord Lauderdale’s steps on the journey he may have taken to visit his mistress before Lauderdale House opens once more

Yesterday, 12:12

The mixed pond on Hampstead Heath will be ‘women only’ for two weeks in October after management confirmed the ladies’ pond will close so that work can be carried out.

Yesterday, 09:57

Police were called at around 23.20pm to reports of a gunshot last week but there have been no arrests made so far

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now