Baby sloth gets a helping hand from ‘teddy trainer’ at London Zoo
- Credit: Archant
Keepers at London Zoo have enlisted a teddy to help them rear a baby male sloth after his mother became unable to feed him.
Edward, a new-born two-toed sloth is being cared for by surrogate mothers at the Regent’s Park zoo after his mother, Marilyn, stopped producing milk and was unable to care for her tiny infant.
Zoo keeper Kelly-Anne Kelleher is helping Edward build up the muscles he will need to climb through the tree tops by bottle-feeding him and using a fluffy teddy bear adapted with carabiner climbing hooks to replicate a baby sloth clinging on to its mother and climbing rainforest trees.
Ms Kelleher said: “We’re bottle-feeding Edward every three hours with goat’s milk, topped up with some vitamins to keep him fit and healthy.
“If he’s feeling particularly hungry he makes a very funny noise to let us know – a sound somewhere between a squeak and a sneeze, but it’s very loud and he makes his point!”
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Edward, who was born to Marilyn and father Leander seven weeks ago, was named after Johnny Depp’s famous character Edward Scissorhands for his impressive claws.
However, in keeping with his species reputation for taking things slowly, Edward’s surrogate mums often have to wait hours for the little sloth to wake from a deep slumber before they can feed him and watch him play with his furry friend.
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Visitors to the zoo will soon be able to spend time with Edward once he is weaned and ready to rejoin his mum and dad in the Rainforest Life enclosure.